To the Adult Family Homes of Washington,
As many of you know, the formal public health emergency will formally end on May 11, 2023. Masking mandates ended in April, visitation restrictions are all lifted, and COVID-19 has a reduced presence in our communities. Thank goodness. While the pandemic may be over, there are still some issues that will linger for adult family homes and other long term care settings. For example, providers will have on ongoing requirement to have fit tested N95 masks available in case of an outbreak. Medical test site waivers will be an ongoing requirement for AFHs. The Department of health has issued new guidance on dealing with infection control protocol after the emergency ends. Follow this link for sample policies: Sample Infection Prevention & Control Policy | Adult Family Home Council. Lastly, the end of the emergency means training requirements are back in place so many workers will need to complete their training, testing and certification in accordance with the timelines available here: HCA & NA-C Training & Certification Deadlines (updated 5/1/2023) | Adult Family Home Council.
The end of the state of emergency has also allowed us at the Council to put more energy into advocacy, education, support, and marketing efforts on behalf of our members.
Regarding advocacy, recently the state legislature concluded a 105-day session. The session produced a budget and many policy changes relevant to adult family homes. With your engagement, the Council’s priorities were all addressed in the final budget and policy bills. For a full summary visit 2023 LEGISLATIVE SESSION OVERVIEW | Adult Family Home Council
Also, right now, the Council staff is embarking on a tour of Washington state to deliver our Spring Conference. We are using our time with members to share updates on important issues and glean your feedback. The interactive nature of the event is designed to help us at the Council hear the issues you face. We will take this information and use it to address future education, advocacy, and support efforts. I hope you will be able to join in and lend your voice. A link to register is available here: 2023 Spring Conference Registration | Adult Family Home Council
We know that there is much work to do around Medicaid rates, assessments, regulatory expectations, and continuing to grow and strengthen the adult family home opportunities in Washington. We hope you will continue to support our work through your membership and engage in our chapters, conferences, and surveys to ensure our work is driven by the needs of the membership.
As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our office.
All the best,