Wednesday, October 19, 2016

NCAL Report: Nearly Half of States Modified Assisted Living Regulations in 2016

Lilly Hummel

Assisted living regulations, statutes, and policies in 23 states were changed this year, according to the National Center for Assisted Living’s (NCAL) 2016 edition of “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review.” The association released the latest edition of its annual review today.

“Adjustments in state requirements help us learn more about the evolution of assisted living itself,” said NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle. “This year’s changes reflect that a growing number of assisted living residents are facing increasing needs, whether living with dementia or dealing with multiple chronic diseases. States are recognizing that assisted living can play a crucial, cost-effective role in caring for our nation’s seniors.”

The annual report summarizes key selected state requirements for assisted living licensure or certification. It includes information on 20 categories, including which state agency licenses assisted living as well as recent legislative and regulatory activity. Additional categories cover requirements for resident agreements, admission and discharge policies, scope of care, life safety, among others.

“Staffing and training, dementia care, and medication management were the most common policy areas addressed by states in 2016,” said Lilly Hummel, NCAL’s senior policy director and the report’s author. “Most of the changes were targeted, and only a few states made significant, broad changes to their regulations. Over time, states are generally increasing the regulatory requirements for assisted living communities.”

The review found that:
  • Eight states reported changes to requirements for staffing and training: Calif., Fla., Iowa, Idaho, La., Mass., Minn., and S.C.
  • While the level and types of changes varied, five states reported changes to requirements for units that serve individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias: Iowa, La., Mass., Neb., and Ore.
  • Three states reported different kinds of changes to requirements related to medication management: Del., S.C., and Tenn.
  • Nine states reported that proposed regulations for assisted living communities are being reviewed for an update: Calif., Fla., Hawaii, Md., N.Y., N.C., Va., and Wyo. California and Florida’s regulations are being updated to reflect legislative changes that have already been enacted.
The report also provides contact information for state agencies that oversee assisted living. The full report along with each states’ summary is available online at www.ncal.org.

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