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Florida launches expedited licensure initiative for assisted living

May 27, 2015
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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Assisted living communities in Florida now have an expedited process for gaining initial licensure, thanks to a new initiative spearheaded by the Florida chapter of the Assisted Living Federation of America (FL ALFA) and the state's Agency for Health Care Administration. The new policy is designed to smooth the communications and application process between providers and licensure agents, cutting the wait time for licensure surveys and lifting restrictions on early move-ins for certain residents.

In the past, the state’s assisted living providers had complained of excessive delays and lost operating revenue waiting for the licensure survey, which had to be completed before a community could open its doors. The new process will strive to complete initial licensure surveys within 30 days of application approval and will allow high-need residents to move in to assisted living communities sooner.

"The removal of the delays will relieve the anxiety and stress for potential residents and their family members who are ready to make the move into a community," said Gail Matillo, president and CEO of FL ALFA, in an announcement about the initiative. "In addition, the initiative eliminates waste of operating costs for the community while it waits for initial licensure when it is fully staffed, stocked and ready for residents to move in."

The state has been in assisted living reform mode for months, having unanimously passed significant legislation in April to enact multiple reforms in assisted living communities, including new rules on nursing and health services licenses and uniform criteria for assisted living compliance and resident rights.

Florida isn’t the only state to pass legislation to condense the initial licensure process and curb the financial impact for assisted living communities that are staffed and waiting to welcome new residents. Texas passed similar legislation earlier this month, seeking to reduce wait time between survey steps and resident move-ins.

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