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 States Aim to Beef Up Resident Protections: Study

Out of the 27 states that updated assisted living regulations, statutes, and policies in 2018 and 2019, the majority of them focused on enhancing resident protections, according to a new report.

The 2019 edition of the “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review,” published this week by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), found that the most common changes were made to disclosure or notification requirements, efforts to prevent or address alleged abuse or neglect, staff training, emergency preparedness, and life safety.

“Once again, states are demonstrating their ability to respond to the evolving assisted living environment to foster quality improvement, provider transparency, and resident safeguards,” says Scott Tittle, NCAL executive director. “NCAL supports ongoing collaborative efforts between assisted living providers, state regulators, and other stakeholders to find the proper balance of oversight while still honoring the specific needs and desires of each resident.”
According to the report, the most frequent change over the past year was regarding resident disclosure and notification requirements. Four states (Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia passed laws requiring new types of notification either to the resident or to the state. Three other states (Alabama, California, and Utah) finalized small regulatory revisions affecting required resident notifications.
More than half of states reported changes to their assisted living requirements for the second year in a row, highlighting a possible trend. Since 2015, 84 percent of states have reported changes that affect assisted living.
“Changes each year can vary from big to small, but it is evident that state regulations are increasing in assisted living,” says Lilly Hummel, NCAL’s senior policy director and the report’s author. “Each state is determining how to enhance assisted living for their specific resident population, and we anticipate this trend to continue.”
The Assisted Living Review summarizes key selected state requirements for assisted living licensure or certification. It includes information in 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, and life safety, among others.
Read the report here.
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