In The States
Senior living has made great progress at
the state level since the passage of
landmark legislation a decade ago.
By Whitney Redding
› Michigan’s Informed Choice Act
of 2001 had a galvanizing effect on
the senior care sector.
› In 2012, states will be focused
on keeping up with their survey
responsibilities in a time of limited
resources and a growing senior
› Rising acuity levels are also top
of mind for many state regulators.
It has been 10 years since Michigan enacted its “Informed Choice” Act, landmark legislation affirming the right of frail assisted living residents
to age in place as long as the resident/fam-ily, provider, and physician are in agreement that the resident’s care needs can be
The Michigan law broke new ground
by consciously favoring individual self-determination over a government-knows-best prescription for choosing the “right”
care setting for a frail senior. In the decade
since, multiple states have followed Michigan’s lead, to varying degrees and in various ways, in how they’ve crafted their own
And yet, the consumer-centered philosophy that led to the Informed Choice
Act continues to be elusive for many states.
While Georgia, Texas, and other states adopted progressive laws last year, Minnesota
took an unexpected step in a whole different direction by requiring prospective
residents to undergo counseling before
signing a housing with services contract—
even when no public funding is involved.
As the 2012 legislative session gets un-
derway in the nation’s statehouses, how
might state budget crises affect senior liv-
ing policy and regulation? As increasing
resident acuity draws increased regulator
attention, how can providers best advocate
for legislation that is consistent with the se-
nior living model’s underlying principles
of choice and flexibility?
the Past as Prologue
The passage of Michigan’s Informed
Choice Act was one of multiple milestones