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California proposes tighter inspections for assisted living

June 9, 2015
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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California’s Department of Social Services (DSS) has propsed legislation to increase the frequency of inspections and tighten the oversight of the state’s 7,000+ assisted living communities, according to a Justice in Aging policy brief.

California’s assisted living communities, licensed as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, are subject to aggressive state regulatory policies governing many aspects of operations and clincial care, including food service, resident rights, staff training, criminal background checks and dementia care, among others. But, for the past decade, budget pressures have weakened the system; the state has performed an inspection at most sites only once every five years, making it one of the infrequent inspection processes in the United States, notes a 2013 policy position paper from the California Assisted Living Association.

The current legislation proposes an incremental shift in inspection frequencies, with inspections occurring once every three years in 2017, once every two years in 2018, and annually in 2019.