Take everything except…

As we head into a new year, sliding past family gatherings, it’s a great time to reflect upon the future of the assisted living industry. Did the RCFE Reform Act give you pause? It allows facilities to accept feeding tubes, staph and other serious infections, stage 3 and 4 wounds. Why this law?
A manager at DSS answered that question and it should not shock you—the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite all the controversy currently associated with this federal law, it has forever changed health care in America. Caring for all Americans is great, but the elderly seem to be on the periphery. Instead of being allowed more days for recovery in acute or skilled nursing settings, they are now going to assisted living homes “which are not primarily medically oriented,” and “represent a humane approach,” and “can provide a homelike environment” so states Health & Safety Code 1569.1.
A regional manager recently stated at an assisted living conference, “TB remains prohibited.” That’s true, given the new laws enacted by the California Legislature. Should facilities accept prohibited health conditions, who provides the care should hospice be discontinued and home health runs out of visit authorizations? Your caregivers, who else? The new law requires facilities to assist residents with “accessing home health or hospice,” but does not address any “what ifs” about those services being discontinued, under the ACA, as this care has become too expensive. Your staff will be forced to do stage 4 wound care or tube feedings. But then again, facilities do not have to accept these clients…but you know RCFEs will for the revenue.