John O’Conner: Funding is a serious
issue across almost every state right now.
Could you talk about how the potential
for funding cuts might impact your ability to do your jobs?
durden: It is affecting our ability [to
do our jobs], but we also see it as an opportunity. One of the things that we challenged our providers with was to identify
ways that we could decrease some of the
regulatory burden. First they thought I
was joking. And then, when they stopped
laughing, they did identify some ways
that we could decrease some of the regulatory burden.
For example, currently we do yearly
surveys of assisted living communities.
One of the ideas that we’ve discussed
with our Texas legislature is perhaps
going to either a 15-month or 18-month
survey based on the community’s compliance history. That would be a relief for
the providers, but it would also be a relief
for the regulatory agency.
Another opportunity is looking at
some of the complaints. Last year we investigated over 16,000 complaints in our
communities. If we could look at how we
triage and how we determine what needs
to be investigated, that would relieve
some of the regulatory burden, not only
for our agency, but also for the provider.
Haston: It is affecting us, but that is
creating an opportunity for the agency to
look at efficiencies. And listening to the
provider community tell us which rules
are not hitting home—where it may have
made sense in the past, [but now] it just
I will tell you that the Department of
Elder Affairs is aggressively looking at
what we can reduce, and if you’re following the news here in Florida, the governor has told us that’s what he wants us
to do. So we don’t have a choice. That’s
what we’re doing. We’re trying to make
sure that these communities are less burdened with unnecessary regulation and
able to care for the residents that they
have in their community.
Ryan: Our governor has issued Execu-
tive Order 70 to have all rules reviewed
so we will be having an open, public
stakeholders meeting, and anyone can
propose rule revisions, anything that’s
obsolete or is a barrier to being able to
Lisa Junker is editor of Assisted Living
Executive. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For complete audio
of education sessions
from the 2011 ALFA
Conference & Expo,