State regulatory agencies play a significant role in improving the quality of life for elderly residents in assisted living facilities. Regulators are slowly implementing fundamental reforms to increase oversight, and to ensure facilities meet minimum quality standards. The increased oversight is due to the increase in elderly population which will nearly double in size by the year 2030; making assisted living a viable option for the elderly. The assisted living population is also changing as facilities are admitting more residents with increased levels of disability that requires complex treatments and services. The quality of assisted living services has become a growing concern.
Generally, facilities are regulated by one or two state agencies such as Department of Health and Senior Services and or/ department of social services. State regulators function to ensure assisted living facilities are compliant with mandatory state regulations or meet the minimum requirements of the states assisted living regulations. Facilities are primarily monitored through on site licensure inspections. Initial Inspection surveys are mostly conducted annually in most states. Surveys are generally unannounced and conducted on-site over a three- to five-day period during which the state’s regulators evaluate all aspects of resident care and services. Surveys of assisted living facilities are typically conducted during weekdays, although the inspection teams could conduct a percentage of inspections early in the morning, at night, on weekends and during holidays.
The survey team inspects the facility and interview staff and residents to identify deficiencies which determine that the facilities have violated a specific state or federal regulation. Deficiencies vary in scope and severity from isolated violations with minimal resident harm to widespread violations which cause injuries or put residents in immediate danger. A facility may be cited for a deficiency as a result of an on-site inspection or evaluation of written reports.
When deficiencies are cited, the regulators will require the facility to submit a written plan of correction within a certain number of business days regarding how the deficiency will be corrected. In severe violations, where current conditions at the facility pose a serious risk to the health and safety of residents or staff, the regulators can demand or initiate immediate corrective actions. Some state requires facilities to inform residents and families regarding deficiencies or post deficiencies in a conspicuous place.
If warranted, the regulators may impose a fine, suspend admissions, temporary revoke a facilitys license, close a facility, or impose other sanctions as permitted by the state licensure regulations.
Over the years, Precision Management and Consulting Services, a premier consulting agency has provided services to facilities suffering from low census due to repeat violations and stigma associated with frequent visit from state regulators. Such facilities known as repeat violators are associated with sub standard care and services, are avoided by referral sources, and only attract residents rejected by other facilities.
Services provided by PMCS is to assist facilities comply with all relevant state and federal regulations and to rapidly adapt to increasing regulatory reforms to increase oversight. PMCS prepare facilities to be ever ready when the state regulators walk through their doors unannounced. Our quality assurance and regulatory compliance manual or frequent site inspection services assist facilities to become fully aware of areas of deficiency and avoid violations and penalties. PMCS work closely with facilities to develop and implement strategic and effective plan of corrections. Ultimately, the goal of our regulatory and compliance services is to help facilities consistently provide high quality care to a varied group of frail and very old residents. Compliance with regulatory standards, and consistency in quality care that will improve the facilitys reputation in the community, and eventually improve census.