Senior Living Industry Associations Form Collaborative Focused on Quality in Assisted Living

The senior living industry’s most prominent four advocacy organizations are coming together as part of a new effort to define and boost quality in assisted living communities.

LeadingAge, the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), Argentum and the National Center for Assisted Living this week announced the launch of the Quality in Assisted Living Collaborative, an effort formed as part of a new partnership with the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA).

As outlined, QALC will seek to develop models and guidelines for assisted living providers, regulators and policymakers.. The goal is to create “a set of best practices [that] will modernize the senior living industry, making it easier for providers to deliver on the promise of high-quality caregiving,” said NARA Board President Alfred Johnson. .


“This effort is a great step forward and will bring senior living communities and the residents they serve a powerful set of common principles to build on for years to come,” he said in the announcement.

First on the docket for the newly announced coalition is establishing infection prevention and control recommendations and guidelines in assisted living. That effort is currently in development.

In the longer-term, the effort is aimed at creating “greater consistency across the states” with regard to infection control practices, said Argentum CEO James Balda.


“By working together, we will put the industry in a position to play a lead role in reshaping the way in which assisted living communities operate,” Balda said in a statement.

ASHA President David Schless noted that he expects the effort to “explore a number of aspects of assisted living over time.”

“Our hope is that its recommendations will help all stakeholders, including operators, policymakers, and consumers,” he said.

LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan added that “quality care is the top priority for providers who care for older adults, and QALC will help the sector collaboratively address the most urgent issues.”

Quality in operations has been a top focus for senior living companies including Welltower (NYSE: WELL), which has doubled down on data analytics and business intelligence as a way to propel better results among its operating partners.

But that growing use of data and analytics tools in the industry will also require a standard way of talking about the data — and that, too, is a focus of some in the industry, including Belmont Village President and former Welltower EVP Mercedes Kerr.

“I believe that the industry will have to come to terms with some level of standardization, whether it’s quality of care, whether it’s reporting or financial metrics,” she said earlier this year at the Argentum conference in New Orleans. “It’s going to be a very heavy lift, but one that I think everybody is going to somehow eventually come into.”

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