Assessing the scope and implications of Bill 16 for assisted living

In March 2017, the BC Care Providers Association set up a three-member task force to review what led to a publicly-funded Vancouver assisted living apartment building giving Vancouver Coastal Health a six-month termination notice, and assess whether the issue was isolated or likely to occur more often.

The Assisted Living Tenancy Task force also had to determine the impact of Bill 16 regulatory changes on assisted living operators, and the implications of client non-payment in the assisted living sector.

Among the Task Group findings, of greatest concern was the general lack of understanding of Bill 16’s scope and implications among both operators and health authorities.

Rebecca Morris, Manager, Public Affairs

Rebecca Morris, Manager of Public Affairs, joined the BCCPA on July 24, and will be focusing 100 per cent of her time on home care and assisted living.

“I’m pleased to have joined the BCCPA, and am looking forward to working with our assisted living members to ensure the sector receives the clarity and guidance necessary to continue providing B.C. seniors the utmost quality of care,” Morris said.

Over the next few months, the BCCPA will continue working with its partners to consider eight recommendations put forward by the Task Force, some of which include:

  • The BCCPA work with the Ministry of Health to effectively communicate the potential implications of Bill 16 to health authorities and the Assisted Living Registrar.
  • The BCCPA facilitate robust discussions between assisted living operators and health authorities about providing safe, appropriate and accessible options for B.C. seniors—which includes determining the intention and capacity of operators to provide publicly funded assisted living, specifically to clients with greater needs.
  • The BCCPA and the Ministry of Health bring together assisted living stakeholders through a BC Continuing Care Collaborative to ensure access, growth and sustainability of assisted living in B.C.
  • A review to understand the responsibilities of BC Housing, health authorities and operators to improve clarity, consistency of services, transparency and accountability.
  • A review of assisted living funding approach to achieve consistency within the sector, and decrease the administrative burden to support the continuum of care for seniors.
  • The Ministry of Health explore the introduction of a care credit model for assisted living using best practices from Community Living BC, allowing clients to direct their own care and select providers of their choice.

While there are opportunities to strengthen B.C.’s continuum of care through Bill 16, the BCCPA feels it is critical health authorities and care providers receive more clarity on the impact of this legislation, particularly as it relates to regulation and funding issues.

The BCCPA looks forward to working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the implementation of Bill 16 goes forward in a way that meets the needs of both clients and care providers.

*Feature image via Flickr user Shazma Joanna