Senate Bill 1096 — Assisted living facility inspections

Senate Bill 1096 — Assisted living facility inspections

by
Phil Haunschild
February 19, 2019

Bill description: SB 1096 would allow assisted living facilities to use private organizations for conducting government-required inspections.

Rating: +1

Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board's purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?

SB 1096 would allow the owners and operators of a residential care or assisted living facility to use private organizations to complete their required facility inspections. Under current law, facilities are subject to random inspections by the Department of Health and Welfare, which are paid for through the licensing fees these facilities pay.

Private inspections would have to be paid for by licensees out-of-pocket and conducted by an accreditation commission. Many facilities already seek accreditation from these private commissions, and SB 1096 would allow them to use the surveys that the accreditation commissions are already conducting in place of the additional state inspections.

(+1)

Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?

SB 1096 would give preferential treatment to the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and The Joint Commission, both of which are accreditation organizations. These organizations are specifically referenced in statute as organizations whose accreditation surveys would be accepted by the department as a substitute for inspections conducted by department employees.

By specifying in statute these two organizations, SB 1096 would give them a leg up against competing private organizations.

(-1)

Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

The fiscal note for SB 1096 estimates that allowing for private inspections would save the department $3,750 per inspection. The department has considered increasing licensing fees to account for the substantial costs of conducting an inspection. SB 1096 would reduce spending by the department and save the licensees from seeing their fees increase to account for the costs of these inspections.

(+1)

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