With the 2020 census fast approaching, SNF administrators need to ensure that residents are accurately accounted for at the time of the survey; however, the fluctuating SNF population can make this a daunting task. In the census, SNFs are considered group quarters, and residents should be counted together, according to LeadingAge director Jodi Eyigor in a recent blog post.
“The census helps guide the allocation of federal funds. It helps channel funding to the hospitals where our older adults receive treatment and to the fire departments and EMTs that respond to emergencies in our buildings,” wrote Eyigor.
The three phases of the 2020 census are outlined by Eyigor as:
- Phase I: The Census Bureau mailed a letter on January 14, 2020 to each place they had on record from the last census as group quarters. The letter explained the steps in the Group Quarters Enumeration process and notified the group quarters that a Census Bureau representative would be calling or visiting in the future.
- Phase II: Beginning February 3 – March 6, 2020, Census Bureau representatives will begin calling the phone numbers they have on file for the various group quarters. When they call, they will ask to speak with someone knowledgeable who can serve as the group quarters administrator. This may or may not be the person who holds the title “Administrator” in your building—you choose who will be the Census Bureau’s contact for the group quarters enumeration. During this 15-minute call, the Census Bureau representative will gather some preliminary information about your facility and make an appointment for enumeration, when they will collect the actual Census 2020 information.
- Phase III: Beginning February 21 – March 6, 2020, Census Bureau representatives will make personal visits to group quarters with whom they were unable to establish contact during Phase II or who were unable to complete the phone interview.
SNF administrators should expect the following information to be collected by the Census Bureau, according to Eyigor:
- Verify group quarters name, address, contact name, phone number, maximum population, and group quarters type code.
- Collect an expected Census Day population count.
- Inform the administrator about enumeration options and determine the preferred method of enumeration.
- Schedule an appointment date and time for enumeration.