Local Contact Agency

What is an LCA?

The Local Contact Agency (LCA) is a local community organization responsible for providing community support options counseling to nursing home residents. North Carolina's 16 regional Area Agencies on Aging are responsible for coordinating or providing the LCA function. The LCA coordinates these face-to-face conversations with the person residing in the facility, the facility point of contact and as appropriate, family members or other supports after a referral has been made by a skilled nursing facility.

MDS 3.0 Section Q Referral Process in North Carolina

As is required under MDS 3.0, facilities will make a referral when a person residing in a nursing facility indicates an interest in speaking to someone about the possibility of returning to the community. Effective October 1, 2010, nursing facilities can call 1-866-271-4894 (9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) to submit Section Q referrals to trained call-center staff.
When submitting the referral, facilities will need to provide the following information:

  • Resident’s name and phone contact information
  • Name of referring facility’s contact, including:
    • Name of staff contact
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Name of facility
    • Facility address
    • County
  • Following the logic in Section Q, information about who (if anyone) assisted the resident in completing Section Q:
    • Family
    • Significant other
    • Guardian
    • Legally Authorized representative
    • Other
  • Pay source
  • Date of Admission
  • Date of Birth

A facility will receive confirmation that the referral was made and forwarded to the appropriate entities.

The Local Contact Agency

Call center staff will forward the facility's referral to the appropriate local agency for a face-to-face follow up meeting with the interested person. The Local Contact Agency (LCA) will assign an LCA Options Counselor who will provide information about community resources based on the information collected from the resident using the MDS 3.0 Section Q Referral Response Toolkit and other person-centered tools.

LCA Forms

LCA Checklist
LCA Facility Communication form
LCA Consent form
Personal To Do List

Importantly, the MDS 3.0 Section Q referral process does not otherwise change a facility's discharge planning responsibilities. The LCA provides targeted options counseling for those persons living in skilled nursing facilities. 
For more information regarding LCA’s please contact steve.strom@dhhs.nc.gov or call 1-855-761-9030.
For information regarding options counseling for individuals not living in a skilled facility, please see http://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/adult-services/options-counseling.