a word cloud in which the word standards is repeated

The American National Standards Institute has set a hearing date of Feb. 18 for its Executive Standards Council to hear appeals to the organization’s approval of Argentum’s application to be an accredited developer of standards for the senior living industry.

“The results of that hearing typically follow within a few weeks,” Argentum Vice President of Quality Improvement John Schulte told McKnight’s Senior Living.

As previously reported, Argentum applied to ANSI in April to be a developer of standards, and ANSI approved the application in September. The effort, however, is opposed by the National Center for Assisted Living, LeadingAge and the American Seniors Housing Association. Argentum had until last Friday to respond to ANSI regarding their appeals.

“As of Friday, we have submitted our response to the appeals to our ANSI application to be a standards developer,” Schulte said. Argentum executives, he added, “appreciate the time and effort that organizations have contributed to weigh in and participate in the process.”

The appealing organizations maintain that the standards process needs to be driven by consensus or that the existence of ANSI standards could put senior living organizations at risk of being sued or could lead to federal regulation. Some of the organizations believe that association-level quality efforts are appropriate alternatives to ANSI standards.

| Provider groups debate whether industry-developed standards would put operators at risk |

“It is critically important to note that we’ve heard the concerns expressed regarding our ANSI application,” Schulte said. “Our goal is, and always has been, to collectively and openly seek to establish and promote best practices as a means toward industry self-regulation and toward improving quality care across senior living. To that end, Argentum has offered to co-develop best practices in partnership with industry organizations and outside of the ANSI process.”

Argentum declined to comment further on discussions related to the potential to co-develop best practices outside of the ANSI process, describing them as “ongoing.”

A LeadingAge spokeswoman told McKnight’s Senior Living, “We are open to exploring the idea further with other provider organizations, consumers’ groups and other stakeholders.”

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