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Top Down Approach Does Not Work Says National Organization  
Top Down Approach Does Not Work Says National Organization
Federal Rules Would Affect Consumers’ Choice
Lisa Gelhaus
(202) 898-2825


Washington, D.C.—The National Center for Assisted Living’s (NCAL) Executive Director David Kyllo responded to McKnight’s Long Term Care Editor’s blog post titled, “Federal rules will come to assisted living”:
Dear McKnight’s:
Your blog post “Federal rules will come to assisted living” couldn’t be farther from where the assisted living sector is heading, and what role of influence the federal government should play. A top-down, one-size-fits-all approach has not worked well in the nursing facility sector. Indeed recent changes to federal nursing home rules to promote person-centered care were implemented to undo the negative side effects caused by the rigid rules your publication now endorses. As you yourself wrote ‘federal rules can muck things up.” That observation is correct, on a number of fronts.
That’s why the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is committed to supporting a robust state-based model of regulation. In the eyes of most seniors, the assisted living concept—and its emphasis on providing the maximum level of choice in lifestyle and daily living activities—is doing just fine. Seniors strive to avoid more restrictive, institutionalized settings. State governments, as shown in our just published “2012 State Regulatory Review,” continually add to or refine oversight of assisted living centers. States offer a far more dynamic government regulation structure than the federal government could ever deliver. For example: in 2011, 16 states made statutory, regulatory, or policy changes impacting assisted living/residential care communities.  At least four of these made major changes.
Consumers created assisted living and made it a popular option for senior care. The culture change movement in nursing facilities in large part simply replicates the assisted living model. Put the heavy hand of government on assisted living and today’s savvy consumers will create another new senior care model that serves their needs, not the federal government’s.
David Kyllo -Executive Director