What’s a plan of care ?

Under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing homes are required to develop comprehensive individualized care plans for residents. This is a written plan stating what kinds of services and care a person needs for a specific health-care problem. Plans of care must include measurable objectives and schedules to meet each resident’s medical, nursing, mental and psychosocial needs as identified in the a comprehensive assessment. The comprehensive assessment must be completed within 14 days of admission. The plan of care must then be developed within 7 days after completion of the assessment. The plan of care must also detail the services to be provided. It must be periodically reviewed and revised by a team of qualified persons after each comprehensive assessment.

Sources: Service Employees International Union Report (1999); Health Care Financing Administration’s Online Survey, Certification and Reporting Data (March 2000); HCFA’s National Restraint Reduction Newsletter (Summer 2000); Philadelphia Enquirer, Report Criticizes State over Nursing Homes (March 11, 1998)