California needs more regulation for residential care facilities and is seeking a regulation on Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs aka assisted living and board and care facilities).
These facilities are not regulated in the State of California and because of this, facilities can charge what they want for resident needs including rent. Also, each facility has an assessment tool that is used to determine the level of care a resident needs. This tool assigns points to each category (bathing, diet, toileting, etc) and the dollars are assigned to each point.
There is no consistency or standardization across facilities on how these two items are determined. it is important that we seek the necessary information on how other States that regulate this industry and exactly what that regulations look like. For example, who at the state level is the regulator? Does the regulation have any standards on the assessment tools or how rent is determined
Both Pennsylvania and Ohio regulate residential homes. Neither standardizes the assessment instruments, though they both place responsibilities on the residences to have a fair amount of information about residents’ needs and they also require a physician’s examination as a part of what the facility must have available to them.
In PA, the responsible agency now is the Department of Public Welfare. Until a few months ago, the Department of Aging was responsible for Assisted Living facilities under an Assisted Living law that recognized that the assisted living industry was developed as largely a purpose-built set of communities designed primarily for older people.
The idea was to have legislation that would guide the “aging in place” process, consistent with the wishes of most consumers and providers. For decades, the Department of Public Welfare was responsible for Personal Care Homes, which are generally smaller and serve a broad range of populations.
For a lot of reasons too long to explain, mostly having to do with execution problems with starting up the new regulatory scheme, the two types of licensing are being run side-by-side now in the same agency.
In OH, ALs are licensed as a part of a broader Residential Care Facilities scheme by the state’s Department of Health.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.