The national Center for Assisted Living recently released the 2013 edition of “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review,” finding that 18 states made changes to assisted living regulations, statutes, and policies during 2012.
Nine states—Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington—made major changes.

Adding to a growing number of states, Colorado and New Jersey started innovative survey models. Colorado has a one-year licensure term. However, under a new pilot program, Colorado would extend the one-year term if the residence meets specific requirements.

The community must have been licensed for three years. The residence’s record should not have a citation, an enforcement action, or a pattern of deficiencies and no major deficiencies that affected the life, health, or safety of residents in the three years prior to the survey.

In late 2012, Michigan’s licensing division for Homes for the Aged (HFA) and Adult Foster Care (AFC) also moved to a new renewal model for onsite inspections. Onsite inspections are required for all licensed facilities every two years for AFC homes and every year for HFA. The licensing division used to give AFC and HFA a few weeks’ notice before conducting the onsite inspection.

Now the state issues a one-day notice to HFA and AFC’s residences. Inspections consist of interviews and observations with licensees, staff, and residents to determine rule compliance plus resident care quality. Quality of care includes mental and physical health, welfare, and well-being, assessed through key indicators.

In the Garden State, New Jersey’s Department of Health (DOH) and the Health Care Association of New Jersey Foundation created a program called Advanced Standing, a voluntary program that requires participating assisted living communities to comply with all applicable regulations and submit quality data that meet benchmarks set by a peer review panel.

In 2012, several states added or changed disclosure and reporting requirements, including California, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. In California, the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act established procedures for the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of elder and dependent adult abusers.

The act requires certain persons, called mandated reporters, to report known or suspected instances of elder or dependent adult abuse.

If abuse occurs in a long term care facility—including assisted living—the act requires a mandated reporter and authorizes any person who is not a mandated reporter to report the abuse to the local ombudsman or the local law enforcement agency.

Failure to report physical abuse and financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult under the act is a misdemeanor.

Florida assisted living communities are now required to notify the state licensing agency within 10 days after the initiation of bankruptcy, foreclosure, or eviction procedures concerning the provider in which the controlling interest is a petitioner or defendant.

Oregon also required its residential care and assisted living providers to notify the licensing agency of bankruptcy or foreclosure.

In 2012, states also:
■ Changed life safety or physical plant standards (Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, West Virginia);
■ Addressed tuberculosis testing requirements or infection control (Mississippi, Texas);
■ Revised or added admission/retention thresholds (Florida, Texas);
■ Changed rules relating to medication management (California, New Jersey);
■ Changed staffing requirements (Georgia, Ohio);
■ Changed resident assessment requirements (Georgia, Oregon); and
■ Addressed handling residents’ personal property or funds (Missouri, Oregon).