States change regulations to help residents, study finds

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States are responding to the needs of long-term care and assisted living residents through new regulations, according to a new report from the National Center for Assisted Living.

For example, New Hampshire and Missouri have created new licensure categories, in part, to accommodate higher resident acuity levels, said the report's author, Karl Polzer, NCAL senior policy director. Also, several states added requirements related to fire safety, incident reporting, emergency preparedness, disease control and other resident safety issues, he said. The report, "Assisted Living State Regulatory Review," summarizes assisted living regulations across 21 categories in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
A trend toward creating enhanced standards for the care of residents with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is continuing to gain momentum, the report shows. During 2006, about one-third of states changed their assisted living regulations. Now only a handful of states do not provide Medicaid coverage for assisted living, the NCAL report found.
An electronic copy of the report is available at http://www.ncal.org/.