When a new resident moves into an assisted living facility in the state of Alabama you must have the resident sign your facility contract/agreement. The Alabama Department of Public Health requires that assisted living facilities have a signed contract on file. Agreements must be signed before or at the time of admission.

The agreements must contain the required items in them.

Financial Agreement.

1. Before, or at the time of admission, the administrator and the resident or the resident’s sponsor shall execute a written financial agreement. This agreement shall be prepared and signed in two or more copies with at least one copy given to the resident or sponsor if the resident did not sign the agreement, and one copy retained in the assisted living facility. This document shall be made readily accessible to personnel from the State Board of Health during inspections.

2. In addition to any information otherwise required by the facility’s policies and procedures this agreement shall contain the following:

(i) A complete list of the facility’s basic charges (room and board, laundry, and personal care and services).

(ii) The period covered by the financial agreement

(iii) A list of services not covered under basic charges and for which additional charges will be billed.

(iv) The policy and procedures for refunds of any payments made in advance.

(v) The provisions governing termination of the agreement by either party.

(vi) The facility’s bed-hold policy, procedures, and charges.

(vii) Documentation that the resident and sponsor understand that the facility is not staffed and not authorized to perform skilled nursing services nor to care for residents with severe cognitive impairment and that the resident and sponsor agree that if the resident should need skilled nursing services or care for a severe cognitive impairment as a result of a condition that is expected to last for more than 90 days/ that the resident will be discharged by the facility after prior written notice.

(viii) A reminder to the resident or sponsor that the local ombudsman may be able to assist if the facility and the resident or family member are unable to resolve a dispute about payment of fees or monies owed.

(ix) Signatures of both parties or authorized representatives.

3. Before execution of the financial agreement the facility shall ensure that the resident or sponsor fully understands its provisions. If a resident is unable to read the agreement due to illiteracy or infirmity, the administrator shall take special steps to ensure communication of its contents to the resident (for example/ by having the administrator or sponsor read the agreement to a vision-impaired or illiterate applicant).

At admission, I also suggest that you include getting the statement of resident rights signed by the resident so you can meet the following regulation.

Residents Rights.

Each resident shall be fully informed, before or at the time of admission of these rights. Each resident’s file shall contain a copy of a written acknowledgment that he or she has read these rights/ or has had these rights fully explained by facility staff to the resident, or, if appropriate, to the resident’s sponsor. The acknowledgment shall be signed and dated by the administrator or the administrator’s designee and by the resident or sponsor, when appropriate.

Many times a facility will get cited during an unexpected inspection visit for not having a signed contract on file. The biggest reason for this deficiency is due to not having a system in place that

1. Makes sure it is done immediately or before admission.

2. Lack of tracking of whom has or does not have one on file.