How are Assisted Living Facilities Regulated?
Educate yourself on how assisted living facilities are regulated to protect you or a family member. Know who to call for a violation is identified or care quality is substandard.
Assisted living facilities are communities designed to foster the independence of individuals who requires assistance for only certain aspects of their lives of health. The patrons on these facilities will live in the community and utilize the onsite staff. Staff responsibilities will include assistance with activities of daily living and basic health needs. Regulation of these facilities comes from several entities, including (1) a state department of health or disability services, (2) state statutes for nurses and caregivers, and (3) the client’s funding source.
A State Department of Health or Disability Services
Each state has a governing body for aged people or people with disabilities. These statutes will dictate hiring practices, employee treatment, and documentation standards for various services, like assisted living communities. Based on these statutes, the state Department of Labor can regulate the conduct of the assisted living community administrators, in addition to the health or disability service department’s own regulating entities.
Regulation for Nurses and Caregivers
In order to meet the needs of their clients, assisted living facilities will have nurses, LPNs, and CNAs on staff to provide the direct medical services. Each of these licenses comes with its own level of regulation and limitations. Each state will have a registry for nurses and medical professionals that will document any allegations of abuse, theft, or exploitation; these records should accompany each employee within their personnel file.
Regulation from the Funding Source
In addition to state regulation of assisted living facilities, whoever is responsible for funding the services being provided also has the ability to regulate what is being provided, when it is provided, and how it is provided. Often times, Medicaid or Medicare are covering all or part of the bill which then puts the impetus back onto the states and federal government.
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