Last week we passed a major milestone in our Strategic Plan when we filed our final new set of rules for the Arizona’s 5,500 licensed healthcare facilities. With this week’s filing – we’ve now completed our overhaul of the State’s regulations for hospitals, behavioral health inpatient facilities, nursing care institutions, recovery care centers, hospices, behavioral health residential facilities, assisted living facilities, outpatient surgical centers, outpatient treatment centers, adult day health care facilities, home health agencies, behavioral health specialized transitional facilities, substance abuse transitional facilities, behavioral health respite homes, adult behavioral health therapeutic homes, child care facilities and the regulatory standards for licensed professional midwives.
During our 4 year regulatory reform effort, we worked hard with our partners to develop a better set of rules. The new model sets some prescriptive minimum standards – and then requires facility operators to develop an additional set of policies and procedures to ensure patient and resident health & safety. Facilities are also required to measure patient and resident outcomes. If they have bad (preventable) outcomes – our survey teams will determine whether the facility wasn’t following its policies and procedures, had inadequate policies and procedures, or both.
While the rules are done, we still need to educate and train our survey teams and healthcare facilities on the new regulations. Because the final rules depend largely on outcomes and solid policies and procedures rather than just static standards – this effort won’t happen overnight. It’ll probably take about 18 months to get everybody up to speed on the new expectations.