Pennsylvania Enforcing Ban on the Term “Assisted Living.”

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January 10, 2011 From the Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging (PANHA)

This afternoon, PANPHA participated in a conference call with staff from the Department of Aging, the Office of Long-Term Living, and the Department of Public Welfare on the issue of Personal Care Homes marketing themselves as an “Assisted Living” facility.

As you are aware, the Chapter 2800 regulations governing Assisted Living Residences goes into effect on January 18, 2011. These regulations indicate that no facility may market itself as, or hold itself out to the public as being, an Assisted Living Residence without holding a current and valid Assisted Living License. This means that any Personal Care Home that currently uses the term “Assisted Living” in its name, on its signs, in marketing materials, on contracts, etc., must have the phrase “Assisted Living” removed by January 18th.

In recognizing the concerns providers may have in coming into compliance with this regulation by the January 18th deadline, the administration has indicated that it will “exercise prosecutorial discretion” in enforcing this specific provision. Personal Care Homes that currently use the nomenclature of “Assisted Living” will be issued a letter upon completion of its next survey by DPW””be it an annual inspection or a complaint survey””indicating that the facility is not in compliance with 2800.11(d). This letter will request the Personal Care Home to issue a Plan of Correction indicating how and in what timeline the facility expects to “come into compliance.” The administration indicated that acceptable Plans of Correction can be as simple as “we will be applying for licensure in __ months” or “we will have the sign changed within __ months and other written materials changed within __ months.”

Acceptance of the Plan of Correction will be done on a case-by-case basis. A number of issues were discussed with Administration officials, including the matter of homes waiting to learn the structure and amount of the Assisted Living Waiver before deciding whether or not to pursue Assisted Living Licensure. The Administration indicated that this is a valid concern. They will make allowances for homes to await information on the waiver before ultimately deciding whether to pursue licensure. However, it was indicated that while administration officials will make these allowances, once information relating to the waiver is published, the expectation will be that Personal Care Homes not incompliance will “move expeditiously” to remove all references to “Assisted Living”.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nick Luciano at [email protected].

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