Census Procedures Outlined for LTC Facilities

2020 Census Procedures for Nursing Centers and Assisted Living Communities

The US Census Bureau will be conducting its 2020 Census in the spring of 2020, with the goal of counting every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five US territories. It is important for everyone, including seniors, to complete the 2020 census to ensure that communities are accurately funded. This includes money for things like Medicare and first responder programs.

All information shared is kept confidential by law. Responses are not shared with law enforcement agencies or state survey agencies.

2020 Census for Nursing Centers

The Census Bureau has a process for counting people who live in “group quarters,” including nursing centers. The Census Bureau wants to help administrators respond to the census on behalf of their residents, click here for more information.

The Census Bureau will begin contacting nursing centers in February 2020. They will be collecting information from April through June, requesting information on the residents living in the nursing center on April 1. This includes requesting information on both short-stay residents of skilled nursing facilities and long-stay residents of nursing homes.

Administrators will have several options for how to report the information to the Census Bureau, including electronically or through drop-off/pick-up questionnaires.

The US Census Bureau will be requesting the following information for every resident or patient of the building: name, sex, date of birth, age on 4/1/2020, race, whether they are of Hispanic origin, and an alternate address where they live or stay when not in a group quarters facility.

2020 Census for Assisted Living Communities

The process for assisted living communities depends on out the community is organized. For example, if each resident has an individual mailbox and the assisted living operates in a social model, then the Census may be conducted similar as for any apartment setting. Other assisted living communities may be treated as group quarters. In the 2010 census, assisted living communities were not defined as group quarters and had a different process. The bureau has indicated “group homes” will be considered group quarters for the 2020 census.

Tips for Providers

  • Every Census worker should have a badge to identify they work for the US Census Bureau.
  • Providers may receive a letter with a unique identifier and phone number to call to discuss how the census taking will work for their building.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your 2020 Census responses and keep them strictly confidential. The US Census Bureau has told AHCA/NCAL it is not a HIPAA violation to provide the requested information. It will not be shared with surveyors or CMS.  The US Census Bureau has published a public service announcement that shared data will be safe.