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New State Regulations on Assisted Living Approved

Three years after passing legislation formally establishing assisted-living facilities in Pennsylvania, state officials are finalizing plans for regulating the newest category of long-term care facilities.

Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved final form regulations for Assisted Living facilities on June 3, ending three years of wrangling between industry and consumer groups. The Department of Public Welfare also published the final regulations in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which means they take effect in six months.

AARP Pennsylvania was a strong supporter of the original Assisted Living legislation and played an active role in helping build a consensus for the final regulations throughout the process.

The new regulations give flexibility to assisted-living facilities meeting some new staff training requirements to keep their residents as their status declines. People with complex needs, such as ventilators or feeding tubes, can only be retained with special approval from the state, but in general, facilities in the category and their residents have more options than before.

State officials expect an estimated 150 facilities to apply for assisted-living status in the first six months after the regulations take effect. Those failing to apply can’t use the term "assisted living" in marketing materials. Enforcement of the new regulations will be handled by the state Office of Long-Term Living, which is operated by the Departments of Public Welfare and Aging.

Look for AARP PA this fall to help consumers better understand how the new Assisted Living regulations will work and what consumers should look for when selecting a facility.

Find more information on the new regulations.

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