Assisted living communities in Colorado face new requirements related to involuntary discharges and administrator education requirements under a law signed last week by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.
SB22-154, “Increasing safety in assisted living residences,” requires a community to provide written notice 30 days before an involuntary discharge, and the law establishes a grievance process, allowing residents to appeal to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and request an administrative hearing.
The law also requires assisted living administrators to meet minimum educational and experience standards.
In addition, the law replaces the $2,000 annual cap on fines against a community with a $20,000 cap, although fines can exceed that amount for an “egregious violation that results in death or serious injury to a resident.”
As McKnight’s Senior Living previously reported, Sen. Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge) said the bill, if it became law, would “hold assisted living facilities accountable” in instances when neglect or abuse are alleged. Although assisted living communities in Colorado are licensed, individual administrators and owners are not.
LeadingAge Colorado initially expressed concerns about the scope of authority given to the CDPHE as the regulatory agency. The Colorado Health Care Association & Center for Assisted Living indicated that it was working with Danielson to avoid creating new laws and regulations for providers.
AARP Colorado State Director Bob Murphy lent his support to the bill, calling it one of the organization’s “highest priorities” during the legislative session.
“It is both a negotiated compromise and a common sense approach to protecting our most vulnerable loved ones,” Murphy wrote in a June 1 letter that encouraged Polis to sign the bill.
Murphy called the educational training and experience standards for administrators, and the process around involuntary discharge, “a very reasonable ask for residences with whom we entrust caring for our most treasured relatives and friends.”
“The prescribed penalties for failing to meet these reasonable standards are clear, fair and equitable,” Murphy said.