Author: Mark B. Hartig
Fresh out of a Florida Senate subcommittee, Senate Bill 658, proposed by Senator Wise looks to significantly impact regulations in Assisted Living Facilities. As reported in the Tampa Bay Times, pressure to move these bills to a vote this year may be spurred on by a series of news media reports about alleged abuse and neglect in Assisted Living Facilities.
One of the biggest changes would be regarding the educational requirements to be an administrator at an assisted living facility. The bill states an administrator would have to have a 4 year college degree or 5 years of experience as an administrator. Currently a person with a high school diploma could be licensed as an administrator by completing ALF core training and passing a core competency exam.
Other changes proposed in the bill would raise fines and penalties that can be imposed by the state regulators who monitor ALFs, allow the state to strip the license of an ALF where a resident dies from abuse and impose criminal penalties on persons who falsify ALF records.
It would appear the regulation changing the educational requirements for an administrator of an ALF could impact small “mom and pop” ALFs. These are the facilities that are typically run out of someone’s home. While greater oversight to protect residents is a positive goal, it must not drive out operators who fill the void between a resident’s own home and skilled nursing facilities. We’ll be watching this legislation closely and update our readers on its progress.