Universal Assisted Living Standards sign now

Background:

From the JCAHO website--

"Discontinuation of Assisted Living Accreditation Program

The Joint Commission will discontinue its assisted living accreditation program, effective January 1, 2006. However, the Joint Commission will continue to provide a full array of support services and oversight to organizations accredited under this program through the end of each organizations respective accreditation award period. No new accreditation surveys or resurveys under this program will be conducted after the end of this year. The Joint Commission created the accreditation program for assisted living organizations in order to leverage improvements in the quality and safety of care provided by these organizations. The Joint Commission believes that this impact was realized in those organizations that sought and achieved accreditation. However, relatively small numbers of assisted living facilities have pursued accreditation as a safety and quality improvement process. This lack of demand has impaired the Joint Commissions ability to broadly impact the safety and quality of care in these fields. In taking this action, the Joint Commission intends to focus its finite resources on those service settings accredited under its larger and more successful accreditation programs. The Joint Commission believes that this investment will have more enduring impacts on improving the safety and quality of health care in this country."

From a USA Today Article--

"Why doesn't Congress pass a law that sets fire safety standards for assisted living? Because it lacks legal leverage.
Federal officials can regulate nursing homes because the homes get most of their revenue from payments under Medicare and Medicaid, the federal insurance programs for the elderly, poor, and disabled.
So the government sets fire safety standards for the industry, and can it enforce it by denying payments to facilties that don't comply. Assisted living facilities don't generally get federal dollars under Medicare and Medicaid" and most are privately owned companies, and therefore are not subject to federal regulations.




The Petition:

We feel that the actions of the JCAHO, and the government, are unacceptable. The elderly residents of assisted living facilties deserve quality care and the the government should set basic required standards for all assisted living facilties. These standards should begin from the point of building design, extend through the construction process, be part of day to day life at the facility, and be subject to review on a frequent, if not annual basis. Ther penalties for non-compliance should be harsh, and serve the residents, not the facilities. In short, there needs to be accountibility, especially in the wake of disasters like Katrina, as assisted living needs to be able handle the day to day and the contigencies that arise. The elderly deserve this country's uptmost respect.

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Eve BoyleBy:
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Petition target:
U.S. Congress, JCAHO, ALSA

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