Industry advocates disagree on ‘common sense’ health services bill

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(Credit: Marko Geber/Getty Images)

Massachusetts’ senior living industry is in conflict over a bill that would change the scope of practice for assisted living to permanently provide what proponents call basic health services “from common sense”.

As McKnight Senior Residence previously reported, during the COVID-19 state of emergency in the Bay State, the administration of Governor Charlie Baker (R) authorized nurses in assisted living communities to temporarily provide basic health services, including injections, application or replacement of simple non-sterile dressings, oxygen management and application of ointments or drops.

This emergency authorization expired on February 1 in the state but was extended until July 15 or the end of the public health emergency – whichever comes first – under a draft bill. expenses signed by Baker last month.

the Common Sense Health Services The bill aims to make permanent the provisions of these basic health services for residents of assisted living facilities. It would also authorize the diagnostic services necessary to perform those services, including blood glucose monitoring.

The Massachusetts Assisted Living Association has pushed to continue the pandemic practice of allowing assisted living nurses to provide a narrow range of health services to residents. Mass–ALA, Argentum’s public partner, said the service provides greater choice for families and supports public health.

“This bill is essential for seniors in assisted living to stay in their communities while easing the emotional and financial burden on families,” said Mass-ALA President and CEO Brian Doherty. McKnight Senior Residence. “A permanent solution will ensure that more than 16,000 Massachusetts residents in assisted living have access to the same basic assisted living services available in most states, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. “

The Massachusetts Senior Care Association, however, opposes the bill as written, calling it “unnecessary, redundant, and inconsistent” with the state law’s intent to promote assisted living as a as a model of “social” housing for the elderly and disabled.

Mass Senior Care, the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, represents nearly 400 assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and nursing and nursing facilities. rehabilitation in the state.

“We stand ready to work with the legislature on legislation that appropriately balances an individual’s desire to age safely in place with the need to provide additional consumer protections and skilled nursing oversight to be performed in an assisted living facility,” said Mass Senior Care President Tara. Gregory said McKnight Seniors Residence.

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