RIALA Blog

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Toolkits and Resources

COVID-19 is an illness that can spread from person to person. While much about the spread of the disease is still unknown, indications point to the fact that older people, and those with preexisting medical conditions, appear to be more vulnerable. There is not yet a treatment or vaccine. 

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The STELA Report IRS Notice 2020 - 54: W-2 Employer Requirements for Reporting Qualified Sick & Family Leave Wages Paid to Employees Due to the COVID - 19 Pandemic

Human Resources Advice and Information from STELA Consulting 

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DOH Emergency 90 Day License

As part of the response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) will be relaxing regulatory enforcement for certain medical professional licensing by issuing temporary (90 day) licenses to professionals holding valid out-of-state licenses.

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2020 Minimum Wage Increase (February 28th Update)

As expected, legislation to increase the minimum wage is moving quickly through both the House and the Senate. The legislation, which is going to pass, increases minimum wage by $1.00/hr, bringing it to $11.50/hr effective October 1, 2020.

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Individual Dispute Resolution (IDR)

RIALA has had legislation introduced to create an Individual Dispute Resolution (IDR) process for ALRs in the law. The bills have been introduced in the House (H 7574) and Senate (S 2366). We are currently awaiting a hearing date and will keep you updated on our progress.

Fair Work Week Bill (Feb 2020)

A bill (H 7875) was introduced this week that requires employers to give their employees at least two (2) weeks notice of their work schedule. The bill is scheduled for hearing Friday, 02/28. Please let us know how this will affect your community.

2020 Minimum Wage Increase (February 6th Update)

As expected, there are already a number of minimum wage proposals pending before the General Assembly. This includes legislation providing for a one year increase of $1.00/hr as well as legislation to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15.00/hr by 2024.

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NEW DOH Survey Forms

DOH has provided updated survey forms for Assisted Living, including an Entrance Conference Checklist. These forms can be found on our website under the Current Regulations tab or downloaded here

New ALR Variance Process

DOH is implementing a new process for ALRs to submit variances. Beginning in 2020, providers will be able to e-mail a variance request to [email protected]

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Survey Tips: 2.4.21 Dietetic Services

The food service in each residence shall comply with the appropriate requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapters 21-27 and 21-31, Rhode Island Food Code (Part 50-10-1 of this Title), and such other applicable statutory or regulatory provisions.

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Survey Reminder: 2.4.21 Dietetic Services

Snack availability after dinner hours must be posted; this applies to Traditional Assisted Living and Memory Care

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Survey Tip: Fall Intervention/Care Plan

Recent surveys show DOH are looking carefully at residents with multiple falls.  (e.g. if fall prevention is included in the care plan, what interventions were put in place to lower fall risk?) Be sure to document file, even if no additional interventions are put in place.

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Changes at the Department of Health - Oct 2019

Jennifer Olsen Armstrong has been promoted to Chief Center for Health Facilities Regulations, formerly Ray Rusin’s role. Diane Pelletier has accepted the position of Chief Health Program Evaluator, replacing Jennifer Olsen Armstrong. Jessica Marcaccio, most recently the primary AL Surveyor, has been promoted to Principle Nursing Care Evaluator, in RI speak Adele Renzulli’s role.

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Fire Inspections are Needed Before License Renewals

RI Health Office of Facility Regulations requires all AL communities to have a Life Safety Code inspection within 1 year of ALR License renewal. See sample letter

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RI DOH Health Inventory Survey

This week the RI Department of Health sent out a RI Assisted Living Inventory Survey. The survey is due back to DOH by October 25, 2019.  This will be used to help DOH understand Health Systems Capacity. 

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New Work Overtime Rules

The long awaited ruling from the US Department of Labor was finally issued on Monday of this week.  The impact of this ruling now enables all employees who make less than $35,568 annually, eligible for overtime pay.  The new rule also raises the threshold for highly compensated employees from $100,000 a year to $107,432 (of which $684 must be paid weekly on a salary or fee basis).  The new rate will take effect January 1, 2020.

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I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form Set to Expire Soon

The federal government's Form I-9, used by HR departments across the country to verify workers' employment eligibility, is expiring on August 31, 2019.  What should your organization do to prepare? 

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Hospice considered a significant change

Hospice care is considered a significant change, even if the services provided by the AL community do not change as a result. ALR Regulation Section  2.4.16 D states: The assessment shall be reviewed and at intervals not to exceed twelve (12) months and each time a resident’s condition changes significantly. 

Understanding Why Employees Leave Your Community

Today, with the low unemployment rate and so many job openings, more employees are voluntarily leaving their jobs than at almost any other time. When an employee quits, it can leave managers scrambling to cover their work load. The loss can be particularly acute when employees simply don’t show up to work, sometimes only days after starting the job.

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CNA and Medication Aide License Renewals and Applications

Some AL providers have experienced delays in confirmation of license renewals for CNA and Med Aids. RI Dept of Health, Professional Regulations report that CNA and MAD licensees who renew online should be active automatically but "holds" may occur for multiple reasons

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