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The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) recently compiled a summary of the assisted living regulations in all 50 states. The Assisted Living State Regulatory Review can be found at this web page. (Update: 2010 Report Here)

The Review noted that about one million Americans are now resident in assisted living facilities. Of those about 115,000 received assistance from Medicaid programs in the various states. Until recently, there was little or no oversight for these homes. While there are some federal laws that impact assisted living facilities the primary responsibility is in the hands of state governments. Regulations throughout the US vary. The Assisted Living State Regulatory Review is a source consumers can go to and learn about the regulations in your state.

The Review provides us not only with a summary of the regulations but also with the contact information for the state agencies which provide the oversight. You can find for every state the agency/phone number, the website for the agency, and the direct contact person with that agency who can answer questions and give you information on how to obtain a complete copy of that state’s regulations.

Eighteen states made changes in 2008 and ten states on working on changes this year. Last year some of the changes observed by the NCAL included updates of emergency/disaster preparedness and fire safety standards. Five state’s regulations increased staff training requirements. Four states reported changes to their medication requirements- like Maryland’s new regulation that requires a licensed pharmacist to review physician prescriptions, orders, and resident records every six months for residents who have nine or more medications. Other trends seen in regulation changes include additional disclosure requirements and changes to background check requirements.

The summary of these regulations can assist consumers trying to decide if a facility is proper for a loved one, in determining whether a facility is complying with the state’s requirement, will give the facility operators with contact information so they can be compliant with the regulations, and provide a resource of information for lawyers who represent victims of abuse in these facilities .

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