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A letter was sent out by an online service with their solution to HB 2529. Chuck Bongiovanni, President of the National Placement & Referral Alliance wrote this to their members this week. Options supports HB 2529 and will continue our position to stand up, support and protect our seniors and the families we serve.

NPRA’s Position:

Arizona House Bill 2529 became law with an enforcement date of August 3rd, 2018. An online service recently sent a letter (see full letter below) to all providers in Arizona, stating they would be forced to charge all Arizona providers “a legislative compliance surcharge” of $125 per move-in. This payment would be required until the bill is overturned or amended. They stated that the law goes beyond disclosure and introduces unnecessary regulatory and recordation requirements on them.

They also claim that there wasn’t enough time to participate in the legislative process and that their voice wasn’t heard. The online service stated that they “support and advocate for regulations that have a goal of transparency to consumers and good business practices for referral agencies and senior living communities.”

The NPRA is proud of all aspects of this new law, with the hopes to make it even stronger to protect seniors in the future. However, we find it offensive to charge care providers any “extra cost” to provide our clients increased transparency in our business practices.

Since the Arizona Legislature felt strongly enough to pass the law, the NPRA believes that the referral and placement industry itself, should bear any increased “costs” incurred due to enhanced consumer transparency, and not pass it along to the care providers, who may pass it to the consumers.

Could this online service be confusing Consumer Transparency with Consumer Choice or Consumer Protection? What appears to be “Transparent” is that this Online Service may be attempting to put undue financial pressure on our Arizona care providers, handcuffing them financially to become actively involved in amending or repealing this Law?

Is this online service holding a knife to the throats of those who care for our seniors, by demanding this $125.00 charge, without any contract negotiation or amendment? Do they hold that much power over our smaller assisted living homes and larger communities? Is this power dangerous to the industry?

We agree that Arizona House Bill 2529 does take away “Choice.” It takes away the “Choice” of some referral agencies to hide behind their “Terms of Use” pages which could stifle “Consumer Transparency.”

The NPRA applauds the Arizona Legislature and LeadingAge Arizona for making this law a reality. For the record, stakeholders were given ample time to participate in the legislative process. Many of them showed up in person, some “phoned in” their concerns, and one online service didn’t come to the table at all.

The online service that did not publically come to the table shouldn’t expect Arizona Assisted Living Centers and Homes to pay for the meal they didn’t attend.

The NPRA feels that the fee of $125.00 per move-in seems excessive, in comparison to the cost of a round-trip ticket to attend a meeting about increasing consumer transparency. After all, they do claim that “transparency to consumers and good business practices,” means a lot to them.

If indeed true, they should be ecstatic that the law passed and not make the Arizona providers pay for it.

Regards ~ Chuck Bongiovanni, President, National Placement & Referral Alliance

Here is the letter sent out by an online service with their solution to HB 2529!

Dear Partner,

As you may know, Arizona House Bill 2529 was signed into law and will go into effect August 3, 2018. This strike bill, introduced into the legislature at the end of the session, quickly advanced through an accelerated process.

XXXXXXX believes firmly that the accelerated strike bill process did not allow time for a considered review with collaboration and input from all constituents. We plan to work with the Arizona legislature and other stakeholders in 2019 to repeal or amend HB 2529 through a holistic and considered approach to create an open business environment. We have always been committed to transparency and disclosure to our families. However, this law goes beyond disclosure and introduces unnecessary regulatory and recordation requirements.

The law will require a significant dedication of additional XXXX resources in processing, sending and documenting leads to your communities. As a result, this letter is being sent to notify you that our Arizona pricing will include a legislative compliance surcharge of $125 per move-in from XXXX referrals sent after August 3, 2018. This surcharge will be in place for all Arizona communities until the law is repealed or amended.

Thank you for your partnership. Our mission has always been, and continues to be, enhancing the noble purpose of senior living by giving families information they need in making the right decision for their loved one throughout the entire senior living search process. We will continue to support and advocate for regulations that have a goal of transparency to consumers and ethical business practices for referral agencies and senior living communities. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.

Warm Regards,

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Customer Experience Team

partners@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

866-xxx-xxxx