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Comprehensive Assessment and Review
for Long-Term Care Services (CARES)

Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES) is Florida’s federally mandated pre-admission screening program for nursing home applicants. A registered nurse and/or assessor performs client assessments. A physician or registered nurse reviews each application to determine the level of care that is most appropriate for the applicant. The assessment identifies long-term care needs, and establishes the appropriate level of care (medical eligibility for nursing facility care), and recommends the least restrictive, most appropriate placement.

Federal law mandates that the CARES Program perform an assessment or review of each individual who requests Medicaid reimbursement for nursing facility placement, or who seeks to receive home and community-based services through Medicaid waivers like Familial Dysautonomia Waiver, and Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program. A CARES assessment is also mandatory if a private-pay applicant is suspected of having an intellectual disability or mental illness. Any person or family member can initiate a CARES assessment by applying for the Medicaid Institutional Care Program (ICP).

Services or Activities

    • Medical eligibility for the Medicaid Institutional Care Program (ICP)
    • Medical eligibility for Medicaid waivers that provide community-based services
    • Medical assessment for all mentally ill individuals requesting ICP
    • Medical assessment for individuals with intellectual disabilities requesting ICP services


The Department of Elder Affairs is responsible for the federal program through an interagency agreement with the Agency for Health Care Administration. Seventeen CARES field offices are located throughout the state. CARES personnel include registered nurses and assessors, administrative support staff, office supervisors, and regional program supervisors. Physicians are used as consultants as part of the staffing process.

Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)

NOTE: Effective January 1, 2019, all PASRR screenings are the responsibility of KEPRO, the vendor contracted by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for these activities. KEPRO’s provider portal for submissions is https://portal.kepro.com. For more information regarding training dates and times or to register to use the new provider portal, please contact KEPRO at 866-880-4080, or you can visit http://floridapasrr.kepro.com. KEPRO can also be reached by fax at 866-677-4776.

Please note the PASRR screening is separate from a CARES medical needs assessment, which most often occurs after a person applies for Medicaid and is a required step to qualify for Medicaid long-term care assistance.

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