Interested in opinions regarding group home residents and completing the 2020 census. Some residents are not capable of completing the form in any format and some do not possess the cognitive ability to understand the concept. Can it be completed for them? For those that do understand, do they need to complete it themselves or can a staff member complete the form? The Census is bound by law to confidentiality, but not HIPAA.
Michael Scudillo, OTR, CHC Chief Compliance Officer/Privacy Officer
2020 Census data collection can be a privacy gray area. Residents in different levels of living should have an opportunity to meet with or respond to census workers (following COVID-19 procedures). Some collection may be in person or electronic and our responsibility is to facilitate.The US Census Bureau has a new process in 2020 for counting people who live in "group quarters" which is electronic. This is an alternate process to help coordinate a response on behalf of residents that we can follow for PC, AL or SNF, but not IL. Notification of the electronic process comes via letter or you can ask your census taker for information on this. The electronic process requires the completion of a spreadsheet (see details of spreadsheet below) based on residents living in the community (long and short stay individuals) as of April 1, 2020:
If you receive a letter, it should be validated. It will have a unique identifier and phone number to the US Census Bureau person working the community. However, if you receive an in person visit (follow the COVID-19 protocols in place for government workers) the individuals should present a badge to identify themselves as an employee of the US Census Bureau.
The US Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your 2020 Census responses and keep them strictly confidential and has stated it is not a HIPAA violation to provide the requested information. Information will not be shared with surveyors or CMS.