NEW STAFFING REQUIREMENTS

The revised Virginia assisted living regulations go into effect February 1, 2018.  This is The Latest summary in Nixon Law Group’s series highlighting key changes under the new regulations.  This summary is the first of two that will focus on some of the new staffing requirements, including staff qualifications, training, and records. 

Remember: This series is intended to summarize what some of the new regulations say. This information should not be confused with advice on how to actually comply with the new requirements.  Compliance with the new regulations will likely require—among other things—new and revised policies and procedures that are specific to your community.

Administrators, Managers, and Designated Staff Persons in Charge: 22 VAC 40-73-140 through 190

Administrator Qualifications. Unless licensed by the Virginia Board of Long-Term Care Administrators, the administrator of a facility licensed for residential care only must possess the following qualifications (changes indicated in italic):

  1. Have a high school diploma or GED; and
  2. (i) Have successfully completed at least 30 credit hours of postsecondary education from an accredited institution, with at least 15 of those hours in business, human services, or a combination of the two; (ii) have successfully completed a department-approved course of study specific to ALF administration; (iii) have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; or (iv) be a licensed nurse; and
  3. Have at least one year of administrative or supervisory experience caring for adults in a residential group care facility. [1]

Administrator Provisions and Responsibilities. The new regulations clarify that there may be no lapse in administrator coverage, regardless of the impetus for a new or acting administrator. [2] Written notice of a change in administrator, including appointment of an acting administrator, must be given to the regional licensing office within 14 calendar days, as opposed to within 10 working days. An acting administrator for a facility licensed for residential care only may not serve for more than 90 days from the last date of employment of the previous administrator. [3] The section also includes a provision specifying that a person to whom the Virginia Board of LTC Administrators has refused to issue or renew an ALF or NF administrator’s license or who has had such licensure suspended or revoked may not serve as acting administrator of any ALF.

Other key changes within these sections include:

  • Administrator training requirements of at least two hours on infection control and prevention and, when residents with mental impairments reside in the facility, at least six hours on resident mental impairment;
  • Annual training requirements for administrators who supervise medication aides but are not themselves registered as medication aides;
  • Application of all training requirements for the supervision of medication aides to a designated assistant administrator who supervises medication aides and is not personally registered as such; and
  • Additional training requirements for persons serving as manager in situations of shared administrators for smaller facilities.

Direct Care Staff Qualifications: 22 VAC 40-73-200

Direct care staff who provide care only to residents classified as residential living will no longer be exempt from meeting the direct care staff qualifications under this section (certification as a Virginia nurse aide, successful completion of an RN or LPN program, etc.).  Staff persons already employed as of February 1, 2018, and not meeting these qualifications will be required to successfully complete one of the training programs listed within one year of the effective date of the new regulations.

Direct Care Staff Training: 22 VAC 40-73-210

The annual training hours required for direct care staff will increase from 8 to 14 hours for facilities licensed as residential only and from 16 to 18 hours for those licensed for both residential and assisted living care.  However, the new regulations retain the exception requiring only 12 hours of annual training for direct care staff who are licensed healthcare professionals or CNAs.  Regardless of the type of care a facility is licensed to deliver, there is now a uniform requirement that four hours of required training focus on mental impairments if residents with mental impairments reside in the facility, as well as a new requirement that at least two of the required training hours be on infection control and prevention. 

 

The effective date for these new regulations is fast approaching!  Contact a Nixon Law Group attorney today to discuss how we can help ensure your community is ready!  Also, click HERE to sign up for our newsletter. 


 

[1] These requirements do not apply retroactively to an administrator employed prior to the effective date of the regulations, provided he/she met the applicable requirements in effect when employed and as long as he/she remains in continuous employment.

[2] Compare the current, “When an administrator terminates employment…” at 22 VAC 40-72-201(B) with the new, “If an administrator dies, resigns, is discharged, or becomes unable to perform his duties…” at 22 VAC 40-73-150(B).

[3] The regulations retain the 150-/90-day distinction for facilities licensed for both residential and assisted living care.  Compare 22 VAC 40-72-201(B)(5) with 22 VAC 40-73-150(B)(5)-(6).