The 2010 Census is underway and AHCA/NCAL is working closely with the Census Bureau to make sure the process goes smoothly and ease any burden on our members.
The Census Bureau has developed special procedures to count individuals living in “group quarters;” including college residence halls, residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, group homes, correctional facilities and workers’ dormitories. Nursing facilities and group homes clearly fall under group quarters. In addition, Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Mental Retardation (ICFs/MR) may have been classified as a group home or school for people with disabilities (See Group Quarters Validation Questionnaire and Other Living Quarters (OLQ) Flashcard).
Based on available information, we previously reported that it was unclear whether the Census Bureau classified assisted living and residential care facilities as group quarters. However, review of recently acquired pages of the Census Bureau Manual (Chapter 3-Group Quarters Facility Questionnaire) and further discussions with Census officials indicate that the Census Bureau generally considers ALFs to be “housing units,” and not group quarters, though it is possible that some facilities have been classified as group quarters. The Census Bureau is mailing out the census questionnaires to housing units across the country March 15-17. So, most assisted living residents should be receiving them soon thereafter. Census workers will conduct follow-up visits to housing units in which residents did not respond May 1 through July 10.
For group quarters, there are three phases: 1) validation (completed October 23), 2) advance visit (on-going through March 19), and 3) enumeration (beginning April 1st).
During the validation phase, Census workers classified assisted living facilities, residential care facilities and ICFs/MR as either housing units or group quarters, depending on the response from a representative of the facility. Facility representatives self identified each facility using the Other Living Quarters Flashcard. If an assisted living facility, residential care facility or ICF/MR was identified and classified as “housing units” then each resident in those settings will receive a 2010 Census questionnaire in the mail and will be asked to mail back the completed form; if completed forms are not mailed in, Census workers will follow up by conducting in-person visits. This is the same procedure the Census Bureau uses for enumerating all residential households.
During the Group Quarters Advance Visit phase, which applies only to group quarters (including all nursing facilities and group homes), providers will have an opportunity to meet with the Census Bureau worker and discuss, understand, and prepare for enumeration.
During the Group Quarters Enumeration phase, a Census Bureau worker will accept “administrative enumeration” when counting group quarters if the facility representative determines that this the best procedure to use for their residents. In this case, the facility generates a list of all the individuals in the facility, and the Census worker will develop a system of patient identification numbers from that list. If the individual in the facility is capable, they fill out the census form, themselves. If the individual is incapable, the enumerator completes the form using administrative records; not medical records. No facility classified as a group quarters should feel compelled to use its own staff to complete the enumeration process. If the facility chooses to self-enumerate, the Census Bureau will provide staff training. Note: Please do not photocopy the Individual Census Reports (ICRs). Each ICR has a barcode that is unique.
When a Census worker arrives at your facility be aware of the following information:
- Ask to see the worker’s badge to ensure the worker is from the Census Bureau.
- Rest assured that Census information is confidential and protected by law.
- Census data is used only for statistical purposes and is public only after 72 years (Confidentiality Notice).
- None of the information requested by the Census Bureau is protected health care information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (Facility Manager Access Letter).
If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to contact Dora Durante from the Census Bureau; or 301-763-9371 or Dianne De La Mare.