All assisted living facilities accepting state or federal funds must be licensed. For those accepting federal funds, most of the applicable regulations and rules are incorporated into those applicable to nursing homes in general. They include:
- The Nursing Home Reform Act is absorbed in a massive piece of legislation known as the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987). The Act imposes more than just minimum standards; it requires that a facility provide each patient with a level of care that enables him or her “to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial wellbeing.” Importantly, OBRA 87 makes each state responsible for establishing, monitoring, and enforcing state licensing and federal standards. Under the Act, states must fund, staff, and maintain investigatory and Ombudsman units as well.
- The Patient Self Determination Act of 1990 is absorbed in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA 1990). Applicable to more than just nursing homes, it essentially mandates that facilities provide written information to patients regarding their rights under state law to participate in decisions concerning their medical care. This includes the right to execute advance directives and the right to accept or reject medical or surgical treatments. The facilities must also provide a written policy statement regarding implementation of these rights, and must document in each patient’s record whether or not an advance directive has been executed.