President & CEO’s Update
Navigating the Operational Transition this Spring and Summer
As the good news I wrote about in the last newsletter has gained momentum and optimism abounds, we also find ourselves to be in a challenging time of transition. Here is an overview of the resources and advocacy Mass-ALA is providing to assist you in navigating assisted living operations in this time of rapid change and uncertainty.
The resumption of EOEA’s onsite recertification surveys in April led to many questions about how the process would be different from the pre-pandemic surveys in assisted living. We requested that there be a notification process from EOEA to ALRs that would have upcoming survey visits, as so many ALRs had their recertification dates already pass, and this would offer some certainty for providers. We appreciate that EOEA has been sending notification letters to ALRs that they plan to visit in the next four weeks, to provide that notice and an overview of the process.
There have also been questions about documentation and what period they will be reviewing. For ALRs that already submitted the eight quarters of data prior to their expiration of recertification, they will also be required to submit all of the quarters since that time. EOEA will provide more updates on the new process at the Regulations Training on June 17. There will also be an update from a panel of assisted living professionals who have worked with EOEA on a survey this spring, so that you may hear the experiences of peers and what has changed and what areas of operations were focal points.
The earlier-than-expected reopening of Massachusetts on May 29 and end of the State of Emergency on June 15 were signs of progress and hope that led to a ramped-up process of regulatory interpretation, advocacy, planning, and information-sharing for Mass-ALA and assisted living providers. Essential reading for navigating this operational transition is our State Reopening Plan Impact on Assisted Living Part I and Part II.
The Governor and the Legislature are considering which Executive Orders to extend through legislation, as the Orders were issued under the Governor’s State of Emergency powers and are expected to expire June 15. The Governor declared a modified public health emergency on May 28 which will extend beyond June 15, so the administration may extend current Executive Orders or create new Orders under that authority.
Thank you to those of you who have participated in Mass-ALA’s Call for Action to Ensure Continued Health Services for Assisted Living Residents. Please take action to contact your legislators to have your voice heard through a few clicks at this link (if you have not already). And if your company has not yet emailed residents and families to encourage them to participate as well, please click here for the sample letter that you could send them. If the legislature includes the Common Sense Health Services Bill in a broader bill to extend Executive Orders through legislation, we could have the positive outcome of ensuring residents’ continuity of care and that residents who may need more care in the future can receive these basic services from nurses in assisted living. It is wonderful to have the opportunity for all of us to participate together in this way in being the Voice of Assisted Living,
We will continue to advocate for this reopening to include optimal policies for assisted living residents and providers. I hope to see you at Regulations Training or an upcoming Regional Connections Meeting.
Brian Doherty, CAE
President & CEO
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