Friday, July 5, 2019

Does the ALF Industry Need Federal Oversight?

That was the question posed in a recent article published in Cleveland.Com.  Amid growth of assisted living, some renew calls for federal oversight opens with an examiniation of hte requirements to be employed as an aide in ALFs.

Just read this to get a sense of the issues illustrated in this article:

The number of assisted-living centers in the United States has jumped more than 150 percent in the past 20 years, fueled by an increase of residents with cognitive issues, a willingness of facilities to take more frail patients, and families who wish to avoid nursing homes.

But while the centers’ clientele has changed dramatically, there have been few efforts to systemically re-evaluate staffing or training guidelines necessary to properly serve residents. This has led some advoctates of the elderly to renew the call for federal oversight of the facilities, much like nursing homes.

For instance, nearly half of the nation’s states lack extensive training programs for the facilities’ employees, with most requiring some form of a job orientation and less than a dozen hours of instruction.

When it comes to staffing, the differences are even more stark. Thirty-eight states leave the amount of personnel needed to care for residents up to individual facility owners.

These variations fuel the position that federal oversight is needed, mainly because it would provide consistency. But there are opponents of the idea who think it will make ALF oversight more bureaucratic and expensive. With Medicaid waivers covering the cost of ALFs in some situations, the argument for federal oversight gains strength. "But because Medicaid’s role is increasing in assisted living, advocates for the elderly say the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which oversees nursing homes, should also monitor assisted-living facilities."

The article discusses efforts at the state level of ensure quality of care and offers argument both in favor of and against involvement of the feds.

What do you think?

 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2019/07/does-the-alf-industry-need-federal-oversight.html

Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink

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