As part of the MDS assessment process, nursing facilities are required to ask residents if they would like more information on returning to the community. Answering "yes," doesn't mean the resident is now required to leave the facility, but the facility is required to equip residents and their family members with resources that can help them prepare for a safe and healthy return, if they in fact decide to transition.
The "return to the community" question was introduced with the October 1, 2010 change to the MDS Section Q. A resident requesting to return to the community must be referred to a Local Contact Agency (LCA) that provides Nursing Home Transition (NHT) services. Pennsylvania LCAs commonly include the Area Agencies on Aging and Centers for Independent Living.
In an effort to provide more widespread coverage of services, effective December 1, 2016, all facilities that assist individuals with receiving Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) services were eligible to apply to become a Nursing Home Transition Coordination Agency (NHTCA). Interested providers in Pennsylvania should contact the Bureau of Quality and Provider Management Enrollment and Certification Section at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also download the NHT program guidebook here or contact the OLTL NHT Hotline at 1-800-833-5196.
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