Kentucky Senate adopts assisted living reforms

Proponents said the bill streamlines the licensure process and allows for new services.

Changes could be coming to assisted living facilities in the commonwealth. A comprehensive measure regarding the homes easily passed the State Senate Tuesday.

Winchester Sen. Ralph Alvarado, a Republican, told members it was two years in the making with multiple medical providers and patient advocacy groups participating in its development. The Clark County doctor said assisted living sites with poor evaluations will get closer attention.

“This bill also establishes the time between re-licensure inspections at 24 months if the provider did not have a serious deficiency during the previous licensure survey. The provider was found to have violated a regulation that presented an imminent danger to a resident which created a substantial risk of death or serious mental or physical harm, the next re-licensure survey would be within 12 months,” said Alvarado.

The measure passed 30-2. In addition to streamlining the licensure process, the state senator noted it allows for new services.

“It also provides that a resident needing hospice can remain in the assisted living home. This will be a new and much-needed provision for those currently living in apartment-style personal care homes,” said Alvarado.

Lexington Sen. Reggie Thomas, a Democrat, cast one of two no votes. He said existing assisted living facilities claiming to provide dementia care don’t have to meet the same rigors in implementation.

Louisville Sen. Karen Berg, a Democrat, said there are many needed provisions contained in the lengthy bill. Both Berg and Alvarado are physicians, and she added the measure is an industry-driven bill.

Alvarado said about 30 changes to the original bill came at the request of patient advocacy groups.

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This story first ran on WKYU, the public radio station at Western Kentucky University.