While the changes may not be noticeable to assisted living consumers, nine states made significant major regulatory and policy changes in 2012, says this Senior Housing News article. The changes, most of which went into effect in January 2013, include the following: updating rules for personal care homes (a care category quite similar to assisted living), staff training standards, changing care policies for residents who receive services through Medicaid, and new ways to survey assisted living communities. To view changes in your state, peruse this 2012 State-by-State Highlights document from the National Center for Assisted Living.
Why are these changing regulations important, and why should consumers care about them?
A previous post, Assisted Living Regulations: What You Should Know, offers these reasons:
- It may change the cost of care (i.e. more stringent regulations could translate to higher costs, which will likely be passed on the consumer).
- Regulations and policy influence what the provider can/cannot be held responsible for, and what resident rights are upheld.
- Changes could also affect what ancillary services can/cannot be brought in (i.e. hospice care, private duty nurses, etc.).
Knowing even just the basics about the regulations in your home state not only makes you a more educated consumer, it also makes you a better decision-maker and advocate for your senior family member. The evolution of this young industry will continue in the years to come, and it’s our responsibility as consumers to stay ahead of the curve.
Check out Accreditations & Regulations in Senior Care: A Necessary Evil or Nuisance? for further insights on the subject.