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Assisted living certifications put on hold after FSSA announcement

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Assisted living facilities have been growing in popularity in our region, however, an announcement by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) may put the brakes on future facilities. 

The FSSA announced a "moratorium" on certifying new assisted living facilities as well as adult day services and adult family care providers. The halt went into effect Jan. 19 and was announced by the Indiana Division of Aging on Jan. 22.

The reason for the hold was due to last year's changes in the federal deadline for compliance issued by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). CMS began utilizing a set of requirements in March 2014 intended to offer certifications to facilities and programs to be classified as "home and community-based." This designation would allow certain services and facilities to participate in Medicaid programs.

With the new implementation of these requirements, CMS acknowledged that some programs and services would need an overhaul and offered a deadline originally slated for March 2019. Facilities and programs would need to roll out a transition plan to become complaint, however, CMS extended the deadline to 2022.

Marni Lemons, deputy director of communications for FSSA, said," “(This) was us saying, ‘OK, if you’re working on this to frantically get something done, you can stop and work on other priorities for now. We’re just taking a pause and we’ll get back with you sometime before too long to give you some additional guidance."

According to The Indiana Lawyer, CMS Deputy Administrator Brian Neal, was quotes as saying, “We anticipate that this additional three years will be helpful to states to ensure compliance activities are collaborative, transparent and timely."

April Grunden