CHA News Article

CDPH Explains Informed Consent Process for SNFs

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued an All Facilities Letter (AFL) to skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) explaining the informed consent process. The letter supplements previously issued guidance and reflects revisions that include physician assistants in the process of obtaining informed consent in SNFs. The AFL also reaffirms that when admitting a patient to a SNF with unchanged preexisting orders for psychotherapeutic drugs, physical restraints or the prolonged use of a device that may lead to the inability to regain use of a normal bodily function, the SNF must verify that the patient’s health records contain documentation that the patient gave informed consent for the ordered treatment. A preexisting order is an order written by the attending licensed health care practitioner (including nurse practitioners and physician assistants) prior to and encompassing the admission of a patient to a SNF. For more information, see the attached AFL and its accompanying FAQ regarding informed consent.