State is Piloting “Advanced Standing” for Assisted Living Licensure

Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said a state license merely tells the public that a facility meets minimum state standards. Now, in what she said is a first for the nation, New Jersey is partnering with the long-term care industry to promote new and higher quality standards that will single out facilities reaching for a higher bar than what is required to get and keep a state license.

Called “Advanced Standing,” this new benchmarking process is designed to elevate quality at assisted living facilities, O’Dowd said. When the four-year pilot launches in July, individuals considering moving to an assisted living facility, and their families, will be able to go the state Department of Health and Senior Services website and start to see facilities that have achieved Advanced Standing. Forty facilities have already expressed interest in participating, and it is expected that number will grow as the program gets underway.

The benchmarks that facilities must hit for Advanced Standing status are now being developed by a peer review panel, whose members include representatives of the state’s health department and the foundation of the Health Care Association of New Jersey, the trade association for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The foundation will implement Advanced Standing. It will hire inspectors who will visit assisted living facilities and determine their eligibility. The peer review panel includes James McCracken, the New Jersey ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, whose staff investigates complaints of abuse and neglect at long-term care facilities.

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