In 1987, Congress recognized that a national problem existed regarding appropriate placement for individuals with mental illnesses and/or intellectual disabilities and passed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) for Pre-admission Screening and Resident Review to Medicaid certified nursing homes. The Alabama Department of Mental Health’s OBRA PASRR Office is responsible for reviewing referrals submitted by health care entities and maintaining a system to regulate the appropriate placement of residents and prospective nursing home patients who have serious mental illnesses and/or intellectual disabilities.
In the state of Alabama, the OBRA PASRR Office is responsible for screening all applicants and residents of Medicaid Certified Nursing Facilities for suspected mental illnesses and/or intellectual disabilities. It is recognized that individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses and/or intellectual disabilities may have special needs which are not provided in a nursing facility. Nursing facilities should only be utilized by individuals that warrant nursing facility level of care. If an individual has a diagnosis of a mental illness and/or intellectual disability and is a nursing facility applicant/resident, the Alabama OBRA PASRR Office evaluates to determine the most appropriate placement based on the individual’s service needs.