State Watch: Long-Term Care News from Around the Nation

As assisted living regulations evolve and tighten, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements fluctuate, and healthcare reform begins to take effect, many states are facing their own challenges as they continue to develop, operate, and implement new rules and programs. Here is a collection of long-term care related stories from across the nation.

From LeadingAge: California Bill Would Pave the Way for CCRC at Home Programs

“A new bill in the California State Assembly would remove a major barrier to the provision of Continuing Care at Home Program programs within the Golden State. If passed, Assembly Bill (AB) 1698 would allow continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) to provide services in a private residence without requiring that the residence be licensed as a residential care facility for the elderly,” reports LeadingAge. “In addition to removing the licensing barrier that has prevented California’s nonprofit providers from offering Continuing Care at Home programs, the Assembly bill provides a framework for providing CCRC services in private residences. This framework includes requirements that CCRCs make certain disclosures to its resident to ensure transparency, and that they disclose the impact of Continuing Care at Home programs on the operation of the campus-based community.” Read more


From the Orlando Sentinel: Hope Wanes for Major Assisted-Living Reforms in Florida

“On the eve of the 2012 Florida legislative session, many advocates for the frail and elderly were full of hope. After years of deadly neglect and abuses at assisted-living facilities, a governor-appointed task force was calling for bold new protections for vulnerable residents,” reports the Orlando Sentinel. “Two months later, only a few of the original flurry of proposed laws reforming both the assisted-living and nursing-home industries still survive. And only a week remains in the session.” Read more

**UPDATE From the Miami Herald: Reform bill for Florida assisted living facilities failed to pass the 2012 Florida legislative system.


From Pittsburgh Live: Nursing Home, Patients’ Families Fear Further Funding Cuts

“A series of cuts in Medicaid payments has [Pennsylvania] nursing homes losing money they use to care for patients, nearly two-thirds of whom qualify under the program. The state pays nearly $3 billion a year in Medicaid reimbursements to private and county-run nursing homes,” reports Pittsburgh Live. “Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget would cut the payments by $100 million, leaving families and facilities concerned about the potential declines in care when demand for nursing home space is rising.” Read more

**UPDATE From the New York Times: CCRC Backtracks on Dining Room Policy

Virginia CCRC Harbor’s Edge will “reverse a controversial policy that had restricted the gracious waterfront dining room and two other eateries to independent living residents, barring those in assisted living and nursing care,” reports the NY Time’s Old Age Blog. “Now, anyone willing to sign a liability waiver, produce a uncomplicated doctor’s consent form and pass a much-simplified health screening could eat anywhere in the building, without additional charge.” Read more

From McKnight’s: Lawmakers Want All Direct Caregivers to be Licensed

“Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation that would require direct care workers in nursing homes to be licensed and meet training standards. The rule would also impact caregivers in home care, assisted living and other community based settings,” reports McKnight’s.
“A state Senate committee has already voted to approve the legislation, but its backers are still awaiting debate by the full Senate, the Associated Press reported. The Iowa chapter of AARP has been vocal in its support for the legislation.” Read more

From the Connecticut Post: Nursing Home Workers Picket in Support of Locked-Out Colleagues

“Workers at HealthBridge Management LLC-owned nursing homes in Danbury and Westport plan to picket Friday afternoon in support of colleagues who have been locked out at a Milford facility also owned by HealthBridge,” reports the “Caregivers from four other nursing homes operated by the New Jersey-based company will join the picket lines protesting what union leaders have called an “unlawful” lockout of employees at the West River Health Care Center. HealthBridge locked out workers at the Milford facility in December.” Read more