After several years of discussion between Personal Care Home (PCH) and Assisted Living Community (ALC) operators and the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH), DCH issued final regulations this summer that address the notices required before modifying charges or services to residents. Prior to these changes, the applicable regulations required PCHs and ALCs to provide 60 days’ notice to residents prior to modifying charges or services previously identified in the resident agreement. DCH interpreted the prior regulations to require that such 60-day notice was to be provided even in circumstances where a change in resident condition triggers additional services. Due to the financial burden that this placed on PCHs and ALCs to provide additional care without charge for 60 days, the provider community sought revisions to the regulations to minimize the financial impact when a change in resident condition necessitates additional services.
The discussion between DCH and the PCH/ALC community extended for several years and ultimately resulted in the amended regulations that went into effect this year. Specifically, those regulations now provide that a resident’s admission agreement must contain “a statement that residents and their representatives or legal surrogates [representatives] shall be informed, in writing, at least 30 days prior to any increase in established charges related to the provision of personal services and at least 60 days prior to any increase in charges for room and board.” GA Comp. R. & Reg. 111-8-63-.16(1)(b); 111-8-62-.16(1)(b).
Given these changes, PCH and ALC operators that want to take advantage of the revised regulations should review and revise resident agreements to conform to the new regulations.