While there is still a lot up in the air regarding the results of the presidential election, several important initiatives passed at the state level that senior housing officials should be aware of. In numerous states throughout the country, there were initiatives on the ballot that carry the possibility of completely shaking up the senior housing industry. Many of these ballot points aimed to offer more support for the senior housing industry and long-term care facilities in general.
As with any new law or regulation, the implementation process can be a little tricky. Depending on the issue in question, many can feel uneasy about what is to come, no matter how beneficial it will be in the long run. This is why it is important to create an open forum for SNFs to discuss any new initiatives and ensure that everyone involved has a good understanding of what the potential regulation entails. With this in mind, some senior housing officials have taken it upon themselves to track the impact of new state legislatures. Some topics of industry interest in this year’s election included:
- End-of-life issues
- Medical marijuana
- Minimum wage
All of these topics – and many others – have the potential to dramatically impact the senior housing industry. It is therefore important that those working in senior housing keep a watchful eye on various ballot measures – in both their state and others. With Colorado passing its assisted suicide bill this year, for example, we expect more states to follow.
What Changes Were Made?
In addition to big changes in Colorado with the “right to die” bill passing, a handful of other states passed legislation that those in senior housing should be aware of. Florida was successful (for two years in a row) in passing important laws related to continuing care communities. The state also elected several new officials who are interested in new construction and demographics in senior housing, which could impact future development plans.
Along with North Dakota and Arkansas, Florida also legalized medical marijuana on November 8th. California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada all voted to legalize recreational marijuana, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Both of this measures have the possibility of impacting senior living facilities, leaving it to the long-term communities to figure out how they would like to tackle marijuana treatment.
Colorado (as well as four other states) also voted to increase minimum wage, something that will undoubtedly impact the senior living industry.
On the national level, we are still unsure what is to come of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We do, however, expect Medicaid providers to see changes in regards to reimbursement, but whether this will have a negative or positive affect on senior housing is yet to be seen.
Do you work in senior housing and have any input on how this election has impacted the industry? If so, we would love to hear from you.