When we at Mass-ALA hear concerns and updates from you about trends in regulatory enforcement, we follow-up methodically to make sure to clarify and educate assisted living staff about those trends. In the past year, there were two regulatory trends that were particularly challenging for ALRs to understand and adapt to. We are pleased that EOEA agreed to our request and that they will address both issues at the upcoming Regulations Training.
The most concerning regulatory trend that we encountered in 2019 and 2020 has been that at least four ALRs received modifications from EOEA, resulting in a freeze on their ability to accept new resident move-ins. The criteria in the regulations for which circumstances will lead EOEA to issue a modification is vague. EOEA General Counsel Matt Casey will address this issue in his presentation at the training. We understand that keeping your residence in compliance with regulations and able to serve current and prospective residents is of the utmost importance, so we look forward to this information from EOEA regarding modifications.
Another regulatory trend that has recently been difficult for assisted living providers to predict and adapt to has been the implementation of the requirement set forth in CMR 12:04 (10) (b), which states that each residence, as part of their Resident Safety Awareness Policy, implement an Evidence-Informed Falls Prevention Program. Members of Mass-ALA’s Resident Care Committee shared that they had learned through the recertification process that not only was a falls prevention program required to be in place, but that surveyors were looking for individual data about residents and their falls history with relation to the program’s efficacy. EOEA Director of Assisted Living Certification and Compliance, Patricia Marchetti, will update attendees of the training on how this regulation is being enforced. We understand that residences have implemented Evidence-Informed Falls Prevention Programs and that information about other procedures that may be needed for compliance with this regulation is vitally important.
In addition to EOEA’s clarification of regulatory trends, the training is also designed to facilitate assisted living staff sharing information through panel discussions on resident care and operations in the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney Heather Berchem will provide an update on legal considerations in the COVID-19 environment. As regulations and best practices have changed rapidly in the midst of the pandemic, the Regulations Training will provide a much-needed opportunity to take a step back and compare different approaches and learn about colleagues’ strategies so that you have the information to ensure your residents and staff are healthy and safe.
I hope you will join me in attending Mass-ALA’s Annual Regulations Training virtually on June 18. You may register here. And as always, please let us know if you have observations about regulatory trends or recertification challenges so that we may follow-up to help you and other members.
Brian Doherty, CAE
President & CEO
Read Past Updates Below