LeadingAge DC Speaks on Proposed Assisted Living Legislation

Legislation | July 02, 2018 | by Christy Kramer

At a DC City Council hearing on June 22, 2018, Christy Kramer, State Executive for LeadingAge DC, discussed issues raised by Bill 22-689, the proposed Omnibus Assisted Living Residence Improvement and Quality Long-Term Care Act.” The legislation seeks to strengthen the city’s oversight of assisted living communities.

While commending the city council on its efforts to better protect assisted living residents, Kramer pointed to issues that could have unintended consequences. One provision of the bill, to which other stakeholders also objected, would bar anyone diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia and anyone needing hospice care from entering an assisted living community. Other potentially problematic provisions would require an RN to be on site 24/7 and establish a civil cause of action for violations of city regulations. These provisions would restrict consumer and resident choice as well as making the development and operation of assisted living communities unaffordable.

Kramer noted that the city’s Department of Health has been working with a range of stakeholders on a regulatory approach to better protecting assisted living residents, and she recommended allowing this process to be completed.