Our View of the Legislature: Assisted Living Facilities

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The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to end on Saturday, March 12th at noon. But even now, most committees are concluding their work. Notably, a bill providing residents of Assisted Living Facilities with hearing rights prior to being evicted survived an Appropriations subcommittee meeting yesterday.

As previously noted here, Assisted Living Facilities vary dramatically in Virginia, depending on the funding sources. Some facilities are well staffed and comfortable. Others are much more basic and crowded. dLCV has heightened concern about the latter type of Assisted Living Facility, as those residences are usually occupied by individuals with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities, or both, and usually occupied by individuals with limited resources and family support.

The status of bills affecting Assisted Living Facilities is:

SB 40 (Spruill) has been approved by the Senate, by the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and by a subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations. The bill establishes hearing procedures and other protections for individuals in assisted living facilities against discharges. The bill requires adequate notice to the individual and creates an opportunity to challenge the decision to discharge.

A similar bill, HB 690 (Hope) was defeated in the House Committee on Appropriations prior to crossover.

HB 569 (Clark) would have removed the section of code that said that Assisted Living Facilities and other providers could not be held liable for provision or denial of COVID treatment. The bill was stricken from the docket in the House Courts of Justice.

SB 100 (Hanger) authorizes staff in programs licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services (DBHDS) to honor a valid DNR order. As Assisted Living Facilities are not licensed by DBHDS, this bill would only impact Assisted Living Facilities to the extent that an individual is also in a program licensed by DBHDS, such as case management services.  This bill was approved by the Senate but was converted into a section one bill in the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions, calling on the Department of Behavioral Health to issue guidance to licensed providers.

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia’s mission is to advance the rights of people with disabilities to be free from abuse, neglect, and discrimination.  We are available to educate policy makers about the potential impact of legislative proposals and budgetary considerations. Please let us know of any legislative proposals or budget issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042.