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Connecticut senior living industry leaders, after working with the state, said they now back a bill outlining consumer protections in assisted living communities.

Nutmeg State Gov. Ned Lamont (D) last week released a wide-ranging bill that proposed reforms across the long-term care sector, including consumer protections for assisted living residents.

Specifically, the bill would require more transparent disclosures of fee increases in assisted living and managed residential care communities, as well as changes to how frequently those fees can be increased. The proposal also would require a provider to make a partial refund of fees to a resident if a community determines that it can’t meet his or her needs during the first 45 days of occupancy.

The Connecticut Assisted Living Association and LeadingAge Connecticut participated in working groups to address a variety of issues outlined by the state’s ombudsman.

“CALA worked closely with the Connecticut long-term care ombudsman and other industry stakeholders to provide feedback on the assisted living consumer protection provisions, and the governor’s bill is a reflection of that collaboration, which we hope provides helpful for our members without unnecessarily burdening our community staff,” CALA President Chris Carter told McKnight’s Senior Living. 

LeadingAge Connecticut President Mag Morelli called the work group a “thoughtful” process.

“Through a collaborative process, the working group produced several consumer-oriented proposals that are now reflected in the governor’s proposal,” Morelli told McKnight’s Senior Living. “We will be supporting the governor’s assisted living proposal as it moves forward in the legislative process.”

Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities / Connecticut Center for Assisted Living, said that his association and its 160 assisted living community and skilled nursing facility members stand ready to work with the state and lawmakers in further refining the proposals in the coming months.

“Our state has an exploding aging population on the horizon, and assuring there’s a rigorous supply of high-quality providers to be there when our older residents and their families need them most is essential,” Barrett told McKnight’s Senior Living.

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