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Disability Action Center NW

Assisted Living Regulations

NCAL’s 2011 Assisted Living State Regulatory Review

Published in March 2011, this report offers a state-by-state summary of assisted living regulations covering 21 categories; provides contact information for state agencies that oversee assisted living activities; and includes each agency’s Web site address. A summary of regulatory changes in 2010 and state-by-state highlights can be downloaded here.

Even though most states were preoccupied by budget issues in 2010, state policymakers continued developing and refining assisted living/residential care regulations.

  • At least 18 states reported making statutory, regulatory, or policy changes in 2010 and January 2011 impacting assisted living/residential care communities. At least six states made major changes including Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
  • Focal points of state assisted living policy development include life safety, disclosure of information, Alzheimer’s/dementia standards, medication management, background checks, and regulatory enforcement. Other areas of change include move-in/move-out requirements, resident assessment, protection from exploitation, staff training, and tuberculosis testing standards.
  • Pursuant to legislation enacted in 2007, Pennsylvania implemented new assisted living regulations on January 18, 2011, thereby creating a second level of licensure alongside personal care homes. Oregon developed new rules for the endorsement of Memory Care Communities. Endorsement rules focus on person-centered care, consumer protection, staff training specific to caring for people with dementia, and enhanced physical plant and environmental requirements. Rhode Island passed legislation that, once implemented, will expand the types of assisted living residents that may receive skilled nursing care or therapy and the length of time they may receive such services.
  • Washington state clarified that boarding homes must fully disclose to residents a facility’s policy on accepting Medicaid as a payment source. New Jersey passed legislation requiring an assisted living residence or comprehensive personal care home that surrenders its license and promised not to discharge Medicaid residents to escrow funds to pay for care in an alternate facility.

To obtain a printed copy of the 2011 edition, call (202) 898-2855, or send an e-mail to Be sure to include your name, address, and phone number. Past editions of the report can be found below.

(See List Here)