Effective January 1, 2019, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) requires all Massachusetts assisted living providers to provide a standard consumer disclosure statement with each new residency contract. According to a Memorandum from EOEA, the mandated disclosure is intended to explain issues that are often overlooked or misunderstood when people choose to move into assisted living, particularly issues of fees and services that are included (or not included) in the agreement. Among other things, the disclosure states that assisted living residences are not the same as nursing homes, cannot provide skilled care and are not required to have nurses on-site.
Kaiser Health Network’s recent study, “Assisted Living’s Breakneck Growth Leaves Patient Safety Behind,” highlighted some of the problems with resident safety and quality of care in assisted living settings. EOEA’s mandated disclosure is a welcome development in the effort to dispel misconceptions about assisted living and promote informed choice for today’s assisted living residents, who, as the Kaiser study pointed out, are often “older and frailer” than assisted living residents were a generation ago.