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New Coalition Presses for Quality Standards for Assisted Living Facilities in PA
Date:7/7/2008

Consumers and advocates join the fight to protect Pennsylvania families

from inadequate regulations

PHILADELPHIA, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A new organization of consumers, family members and advocates for the elderly and the disabled is pushing for quality standards in Pennsylvania state regulations covering assisted living facilities.

The Pennsylvania Assisted Living Consumer Alliance (PALCA) formed this year to ensure that new licensing rules will protect elderly and disabled residents. About 50,000 people in Pennsylvania currently live in facilities that may call themselves assisted living facilities.

"It's essential that we get these regulations right to protect all of Pennsylvania's families," said Alissa Halperin, Senior Attorney and Deputy Director of Policy Advocacy at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, the organization leading the efforts of the Alliance. "We are committed to championing and supporting individual rights and quality care for everyone."

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project is primarily using operating support provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts to fund the campaign.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly last year passed a bill to license the fast-growing assisted living industry. The regulations are expected to be released this month, and the public will have a chance to comment on them before they are finalized. Until now, state regulations have lumped assisted living facilities together with a wide range of homes for the elderly and disabled.

"The passage of Act 56 was a great first step for consumers," said Halperin, "but now we need to make sure that the law isn't window dressing. We need regulations that will protect the residents' rights to access their own doctors and caregivers, to have adequate living space and to be served by appropriately trained staff."

Assisted living has emerged in the past generation to house people who are not so sick that they requir
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SOURCE The Pennsylvania Assisted Living Consumer Alliance
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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