PUBLIC POLICY BRIeF
facilitate more efficient licensing. Currently, regulators conduct a 30 percent
random sample for inspections. If not
inspected through the sample, no community is allowed to go more than five
years without an inspection. Providers
say they want more frequent oversight
to safeguard the integrity of the industry, and they are advocating a 20 percent
increase in licensing fees to fund additional inspectors.
The first legislative session of the year in
Virginia was a successful one for assisted living advocates. They successfully
thwarted a bill that would have required
an extremely burdensome and ineffective reporting system to the Department
of Social Services on all stages of pressure ulcers.
Advocates also were able to work with
legislators to improve a bill governing the
registration of individuals who distribute
medications. As originally crafted, regulations were overly complicated, making it
too difficult for many to register. The modified bill extends deadlines and creates
new, more realistic testing procedures.
Less travel time is required for those
seeking registration, and new registrants
would be allowed to continue practicing
while waiting to be approved.
In addition to legislative work, state-level affiliates also have been actively pursuing appropriate regulatory oversight.
In Pennsylvania, for example, providers
were challenged in 2008 by a new set
of assisted living regulations that were
overly prescriptive, to the point where
some providers might be discouraged
from seeking licensure. At press time,
the state’s Department of Public Welfare
was gathering public comment and considering amendments to the proposed
These examples represent just a sampling of the legislative and regulatory
advocacy presently at play at the state
level. While the government shakeup
at the national level has many watching the federal regulatory landscape, the
wheels keep turning in statehouses and
regulatory agencies across the nation.
Consistent messaging from assisted living advocates, community allies, and
friends is helping to forge an environment that is conducive to the well-being
of residents and the success of assisted
Maribeth Bersani is ALFA’s senior vice
president, public policy. Reach her at
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46 Assisted Living executive | May/June 2009 | www.alfa.org 319242_Ad.indd 1