Window Openings Building Code Changes
Working collaboratively with the Office of the State Fire Marshall, the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) helped secure changes to the 2019 Building Codes.
- The changes allow R2.1 occupancies that meet the delayed egress standards to restrict window openings to 4 inches.
The change is published and takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Local jurisdictions may immediately use the printed code as an alternate means of protection. However, they are under no obligation to do so. It is completely at their discretion.
This change increases security for residents in memory care while maintaining overall fire and life safety. The prior code did not consider the special needs of those with dementia.
An Act Concerning Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia Training And Best Practices (SB 827) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- Retains the two hours of contact training continuing education requirement for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license renewal.
- Beginning in January, APRNs must complete at least two contact hours of training or education in the following: diagnosing and treating cognitive conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, delirium, related cognitive impairments, and geriatric depression; or diagnosing and treating any mental health conditions (instead of only those common to veterans and their family members).
- Allows, but does not require, APRNs to complete on the same schedule at least two contact hours of training or education on diagnosing and treating cognitive and mental conditions, including those listed above. By law, physicians and APRNs generally must complete 50 contact hours of continuing education every two years, starting with their second license renewal.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities Contracts (HB 1033) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- Creates an early intervention system, based on the CCRC’s performance, designed to identify, mitigate, or resolve financial issues so that a provider may avoid bankruptcy as well as protect the interests of the residents.
- Revises monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting by CCRCs to provide more relevant and timely information about financial performance.
- Imposes an express duty on CCRCs to produce records during an examination and gives the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) standing to petition a court for production of such records.
- Authorizes the OIR, under certain conditions, to issue an immediate suspension order on a CCRC as well as cease and desist order on a person that violates specified laws.
- Revises and streamlines provisions of law relating to applications for licensure and acquisition of a CCRC.
- Provides additional authority for the OIR to disapprove and remove unqualified management.
- Requires providers to make additional information, notices, and reports available to the residents or residents’ council.
- Revises the current process for the resolution of resident’s complaints to provide greater transparency regarding the process.
- Revises the membership of the Continuing Care Advisory Council to increase the number of resident members from three to four.
Amendment to Health Care Worker Background Check Act (SB 1965) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- Amends the Health Care Worker Background Check Act.
- Creates a waiver program for individuals with a criminal record.
- Provides that an individual otherwise qualified for and intending to apply for a direct-care position who has a disqualifying conviction may initiate a fingerprint-based criminal history record check, where a conditional offer of employment has not been made and such a background check has not been previously conducted.
- Allows those individuals to request a waiver of the prohibition of employment.
Notification of the Appointment of a Temporary Operator in Certain Adult Care Facilities (S 1193) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- Requires the Department of Health to direct temporary operators to provide written notification to residents of all adult homes, enriched housing programs, residences for adults, and assisted living programs where a temporary operator has been appointed.
Creates the State Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Advisory Council (PUBLIC CHAPTER 364)
This eleven-member council was given four tasks:
- To research the current status of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Tennessee
- To assess available industries, services, and resources to serve persons, families and caregivers impacted by these diseases
- To develop a strategy to mobilize a response to needs identified
- To prepare a report to Governor Lee by Jan. 15, 2020.
The council must meet at least twice between now and the end of the year. The council will include two legislators, a representative from the Tennessee Health Care Association and one from LeadingAge, a licensed medical professional, a representative from the TennCare Bureau, the Commissioner of Health, an appointee by Governor Lee, a caregiver, a representative from the Alzheimer’s Association, and a member of the public.
Creation of Elder Abuse Task Force (PUBLIC CHAPTER 135)
- Another study will be conducted by the Elder Abuse Task Force.
- This group is directed to assess the current status of elderly and other vulnerable adults covered by the Adult Protection Act to determine recommendations and policies to address current issues and barriers related to financial exploitation of the elderly.
- This task force will operate in coordination with the Commission on Aging, which will call the first meeting and will provide administrative support.
Administrator Training and Licensure Requirements
The Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators convened a Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) to review current requirements for training and licensure of administrators of assisted living communities and nursing homes. The creation of the Regulatory Advisory Panel was initiated by request from the Virginia Assisted Living Association (VALA) to consider current workforce challenges of employing and training administrators with a specific request for the board to consider allowing an additional pathway to licensure that focused on employment experience instead of higher educational background. Judy Hackler of VALA served on the RAP, and public comments were welcomed from industry stakeholders including Maribeth Bersani with Argentum, Ed Corbeil with Commonwealth Senior Living, and Amy Feather of The Kensington Falls Church. The RAP considered numerous factors including those listed below and will share the considerations and recommendations to the Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators at their September 2019 meeting.
- The pipeline for candidates to become an administrator, including who is entering the workforce and what factors are contributing to administrators leaving the workforce
- The requirements for entry to the administrator-in-training (AIT) programs, such as educational and employment experience
- The requirements for the AIT program, including number of hours and external factors, such as whether the AIT is employed with the preceptor
- The availability and training of preceptors
- The comparison of Virginia applicants and trends of NAB test scores
- The comparison of Virginia requirements and statistics nationally
- Insights from current AITs and preceptors on what works well with the training and licensure and where improvements could be made
Special Care Unit Staffing (SB1410 / HB2521) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- Initiated by VALA, this legislation acknowledges the staffing needs for special care units within Virginia’s assisted living communities vary based on a variety of factors, including number of residents, the resident acuity levels, and the level of activities within the community during overnight hours.
- These bills also allowed for more flexibility in communities to receive emergency placements of residents during night hours.
- The new requirements are effective Oct. 17, 2019.
Emergency Operations (SB 1077 / HB 1815) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- VALA worked with legislators and regulators to amend current regulations that would provide for additional resident safety during times of emergency situations.
- Effective Oct. 17, 2019, assisted living communities will be required to disclose to prospective residents whether it has an onsite emergency electrical power source.
- As of Dec. 1, 2020, communities will be required to periodically test emergency generators and temporary emergency electrical power source connections. As of December 1, 2020, communities will also be required to make sure it has access to an emergency generator, which can be accomplished through agreements with a vendor to supply the generator in times of need.
Concerning Long-Term Services and Supports (HB 1087) – SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
- Establishes a long-term care services and supports benefit for every Washingtonian whose family member contributes.
- Anyone who meets the vesting and functional eligibility requirements is able to access the current maximum $36,500 lifetime benefit. To vest long-term, you must be a Washington resident and contribute for at least 10 years, without an interruption of five years or more.
- To vest short-term, you must be a Washington resident and contribute for at least three of the past six years.
- To meet the eligibility requirements, you must demonstrate a need for assistance with multiple activities of daily living, which could include dressing, bathing, eating, moving around, cognitive issues, personal hygiene, and others.
- W-2 workers are required to contribute to the trust fund at a set .0058 premium on payroll income.
- 1099 workers and business owners, sole-proprietors, and other self-employed individuals will have the option to contribute at the same premium level.
- The per capita average income in WA is $36,975. Monthly contributions on this income would be $17.87 (according to American Community Survey).