DSS Accepting Comments on New Assisted Living Regulations

Published in September 24, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) is accepting comments on proposed new regulations for assisted living facilities through November 6. 

DSS Updates Technical Assistance for ALF Standards

Published in July 31, 2014 Issue

On July 25th providers of assisted living facilities received notice from the Virginia Department of Social Services that the Technical Assistance for Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities has been updated as of 07/2014.  The document is available on the Virginia Department of Social Services website.  If you would like to order a hard copy, please see the Publication Order Form on the public website.  Following are changes in the technical assistance (TA) document:

DSS Issues Notice to ALFs on New Background Check Requirements

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

Lynne A. Williams, Director of the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs, distributed a Legislative Update on May 12th to facilities regulated by DSS notifying them of their responsibilities to comply with House Bill 450 passed in the 2014 General Assembly.

ALF Training Regulations Chart Updated

Published in March 21, 2014 Issue

Judith McGreal, Program Development Consultant at the Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Licensing Programs has notified providers that the ALF Training Regulations Chart on the Virginia Department of Social Services’ (DSS) public website has been updated with a version that provides links between the DSS Standard references in the chart and the actual Standards.   The purpose of the links is to allow easy access to the actual standard for any of the references in the chart.  There are no changes other than the provision of links.  


DSS Prepares Tool Identifying Training Regulations for ALFs

Published in January 9, 2014 Issue

At the request of provider associations, Judy McGreal at the Department of Social Services (DSS) has prepared a chart of ALF training regulations to assist assisted living providers identify the various requirements related to staff training.  We believe this will be a valuable tool for VCAL members to help them assure that the requirements for training are met.  The “ALAt the request of provider associations, Judy McGreal at the Department of Social Services (DSS) has prepared a chart of ALF training regulations to assist assisted living providers to identify the various requirements related to staff training.  We believe this will be a valuable tool for VCAL members to help them assure that the requirements for training are met.  The “ALF Training Regulations Chart” is available on the DSS public website under “Current ALF Providers."  F Training Regulations Chart” is available on the DSS public website under “Current ALF Providers” which includes forms. 

Person's Hands Pricking Their Finger with a Glaucometer --- Image by � Royalty-Free/Corbis

Medicare Begins National Mail Order for Diabetic Testing Supplies for ALFs

Published in August 9, 2013 Issue

We are repeating this article because of questions asked at the recent VCAL Symposium about obtaining diabetic supplies for residents in assisted living facilities.

On July 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing a new National Mail-Order Program for assisted living facilities (ALFs) for Medicare diabetic supplies such as blood glucose testing strips, lancets, and replacements batteries for blood glucose monitors. Under the new nationwide system, rather than having an approved amount of $78 for 100 test strips and lancets, Medicare’s approved amount will be about $22 – and beneficiary co-pays will drop from approximately $15 to under $5.  To save money under the new system, beneficiaries need to use a Medicare national mail-order contract supplier. The national suppliers can be found here, and then enter the relevant zip code. This mail order program only applies to residents of ALFs.  The statute prohibits separate payment for DME furnished in nursing homes.

Revisions to Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities and General Procedures and Information for Licensure

Published in July 19, 2013 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs’ circulated a notice to assisted living providers on July 12th regarding revisions to the “Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities” and “General Procedures and Information for Licensure” which became effective July 17, 2013.  The revision was needed due to changes made to the Code of Virginia in the 2013 Session of the General Assembly.  Actions on the regulations were exempt from the full Administrative Process Act regulatory process since the purpose of the revisions was strictly to conform to changes in state law and no agency discretion was involved. 

NCAL Launches Surveys on Performance Measures and Vacancy, Retention & Turnover

Published in January 6,2012 Issue

For the third year the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is launching two surveys under its Advocating Care Excellence program.  The 2012 NCAL Performance Measures Survey is available only to NCAL members while the 2011 Assisted Living Employee Vacancy, Retention and Turnover (VRT) Survey is open to assisted living providers nationwide.   NCAL has enlisted the support of three other assisted living provider associations, Leading Age, American Seniors Housing Association, and the Assisted Living Federation of America, for the VRT survey.  Both surveys are prominently featured on the homepage of NCAL’s website. The deadline for completion and submission of both surveys is May 4, 2012.


REMINDER: OSHA Injury & Illness Forms Must be Posted by February 1st

Published in January 4, 2013 Issue

Long term care providers, including assisted living facilities, are required to post the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - OSHA Form 300A by February 1st.  The form should be posted in a public area where employees can view it. The report must remain posted through April 30, 2013.  To obtain instructions and forms, click here.

Assisted Living Nurse Teleconference Scheduled for December 4th

Published in November 20, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living and the American Assisted Living Nurses Association will hold a national networking conference call for licensed nurses working in assisted living communities.  The call is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  Topics for the teleconference will be the SBAR (Situation Background Assessment Recommendation) and Stop & Watch tools from the INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) program.  Members can access the conference call by dialing 888-394-8197 and using access code: 247577. 

Assisted Living Staffing Report Available

Published in October 11, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has released results from two surveys indicating that 91 percent of assisted living providers responding to the survey measuring resident and family satisfaction levels report that 71 percent of staff remained working at the same community in 2011.  The statistics are from the NCAL 2012 Assisted Living Performance Measures Survey, which was limited to NCAL members.  The second survey was the NCAL 2011 Assisted Living Staff Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover Survey (VRT) which fielded responses from NCAL, Leading Age, American Seniors Housing Association, and Assisted Living Federation of America members.  This is the third consecutive year NCAL has issued these reports which together cover 10 performance measure areas that are key to delivering high quality care.

Technical Assistance Document Updated for ALF Regulations

Published in July 25, 2012 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) notified assisted living facility providers this week that the Technical Assistance (TA) for Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities has been updated as of July 2012.  The document is now available on the DSS public website.

DSS Survey on Oxygen Supplies in ALFS

Published in July 13, 2012 Issue

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), Division of Licensing Programs (DOLP), is considering a proposed change to the assisted living facility standards related to the amount of oxygen supply that must be on site at any given time. The agency, as part of its comprehensive revision of regulations, is reaching out to providers requesting that all assisted living facilities complete a short survey no later than July 25, 2012, in order to provide the necessary data to assist in drafting a proposed change to requirements related to the amount of oxygen each facility must maintain.

DSS Issues Revised Initial and Renewal ALF Licensure Applications

Published in June 15, 2012 Issue

A memorandum from Lynne Williams, Department of Social Services (DSS) Director of the Division of Licensure, was issued to licensed assisted living facilities and adult day care centers on June 6th regarding revised initial and renewal applications for licensure.  Effective July 1, 2012, the Division of Licensing Programs will begin using revised Initial and Renewal Applications for Licensure.  Providers will be receiving information about training on the new applications that will be provided by the licensing offices prior to the July 1 implementation date.

Top Deficiencies Cited in Virginia ALFs

Published in May 17, 2012 Issue

At the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) Committee meeting on May 3rd, Deborah Lloyd, Operations Consultant in the Virginia Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs, presented an update on the top deficiencies cited for the period from January 2011 to January 2012 based on a total of 1327 inspections conducted by DSS inspectors.

AL Employee Orientation Book

Published in May 17, 2012 Issue

How do you provide orientation to assisted living for new employees? Assisted Living: What You Need to Know is designed for all levels of employees, from the boiler room to the board room. It gives a brief overview of assisted living (AL): how it fits into the long term care continuum, state and federal regulations, customer service, resident and family councils, confidentiality, dementia, nutrition, disclosure, abuse and neglect, risk management, standard precautions, and emergency situations.

To order, click here. The cost for members is $19.95 and nonmembers $23.95.   

ALF Employee Orientation Book Available

Published in May 3, 2012 Issue

How do you provide orientation to assisted living for new employees? Assisted Living: What You Need to Know is designed for all levels of employees, from the boiler room to the board room. It gives a brief overview of assisted living: how it fits into the long term care continuum, state and federal regulations, customer service, resident and family councils, confidentiality, dementia, nutrition, disclosure, abuse and neglect, risk management, standard precautions and emergency situations. To order your copy, click here. The cost for VHCA/VCAL members is $19.95 and non-members $23.95.  

2012 Edition of Assisted Living State Regulatory Review Available

Published in March 9, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has just released the 2012 edition of “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review  revealing that 16 states made changes to assisted living regulations, statutes, and policies during 2011. According to Karl Polzer, NCAL’s senior policy director and the report’s author, four states—Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Dakota—made major changes last year. A number of states are considering major changes for 2012 while 30% of states actively changed Assisted Living Regulations in 2011.