The Adult Care Licensure Section of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, has been reorganized, according to remarks made by Section Chief, Megan Lamphere, at the October Annual Meeting of the N.C. Assisted Living Association. The changes affect the physical offices of the Section, personnel assignments and surveys, among other things, and are designed to streamline the Section’s work and increase efficiency. Below are highlights of some of the changes.
Section Reorganization and Office Closures
The Section has closed its satellite offices in Clinton and Asheville, effective October 2015. In addition, survey staff formerly housed at those offices will now be working remotely from their homes. In tandem with this change, the Section responsibilities have been reorganized into a Western Branch and an Eastern Branch and the State has been “reorganized” into 8 geographical sections for purposes of surveys and survey responsibilities. They consist of a West Mountain, East Mountain, North West and South West section, all housed under the Western Branch, and a Central, North East, Central East and South East section, all housed under the Section’s Eastern Branch.
The changes include new titles and expanded responsibilities for some long-time Section leadership personnel. In addition to Section Chief, Megan Lamphere, the Section’s Senior Management Team now includes:
- Pam Burns, Assistant Section Chief (and responsible for overall conduct of provider surveys)
- Jan Brickley, Director of Quality Management & Lead Pharmacist
- Libby Kinsey, Program Development Coordinator
- Karisa Merrill, County Liaison
- Marie Rodgers, Eastern Branch Manager
- Linda Blalock, Western Branch Manager
New County Liaison Position
The Section has also created a new County Liaison Position and has hired Karisa Merrill to serve in this role. The County Liaison will:
- Serve as the Section Chief’s designee when interfacing with County Department of Social Services Staff to ensure proper DHSR oversight of County inspections;
- Coordinate the development of training to meet identified needs of County DSS staff;
- Provide recommendations to the Division of Health Service Regulation, the Adult Care Licensing Section, the Department of Health and Human Services and local Departments of Social Services regarding regulatory, statutory or policy changes that may improve and clarify the respective roles of County DSS agencies and DHSR regarding the oversight of services provided to adult care home residents; and
- Develop and implement improvement initiatives in conjunction with County DSS agencies.
Dealing With Abrupt Facility Closures
In 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services, of which the Section is a part, created a Response “HUB Team” to deal with sudden closures of licensed facilities, including adult care homes and mental health group homes. There has been an increase in the occurrence of adult care homes closing quickly with little or no notice which has required activation of the HUB team. Such closures may result from bankruptcy and foreclosure actions by lenders; a provider’s failure to pay utility bills; abandonment of a facility by the licensee and/or owner; the expiration of a provisional license; or action on the part of the Adult Care Licensure Section in response to dangerous conditions in a facility or a provider’s substantial noncompliance with applicable statutes and regulations.