Legislation is normally the highest level of governing authority and reflects ‘macro-level’ requirements. Legislation often enables or confers certain authority (e.g., to the Minister of Health), enables actions or decisions to be made within a specific scope of authority, and prohibits some actions or participants.
Legislation is intended to be written and updated infrequently, and therefore it must be broad enough and forward-thinking enough to contemplate various future scenarios that can continue to be governed effectively within enduring legislative powers.
Regulations reflect the more detailed, operational layer of accountability: the why what, who, how, why and when of legislation. For example, regulations in continuing care may articulate:
Who is, and isn’t, permitted to act in various capacities
Minimum levels of staffing or quality assurance
Obligation for operators to meet current standards and policies
Who pays for what (public funding versus operator versus resident)
Who is responsibility for monitoring, and to which standards
How to handle complaints, disputes and appeals
Ministerial authority to direct or intervene when necessary.
When legislation and regulations are viewed as companion documents that are aligned, there are clear boundaries and expectations regarding who is responsible for what, and how infractions will be addressed.
However, when legislation and regulations are developed on piecemeal basis over years or decades, there can be unclear, overlapping or even contradictory rules about how various circumstances will be handled. Other times, detailed operational requirements are incorrectly housed within legislation — meaning the rules quickly become outdated yet are still enforceable so long as the legislation is still in effect.
Learn how CHAA is advocating for continuing care regulatory change in Alberta.
Our focus on solutions
CHAA operators have a unique system-level vantage point to observe gaps and challenges between the interconnected parts of the healthcare system.
System capacity overview
While different streams of the health care system may be funded and managed separately, they are all strongly interconnected.
Are continuing care homes regulated and licensed?
All continuing care homes that receive government funding to deliver services are fully licensed and regulated. Most private-pay care homes are also licensed and regulated, but sometimes to a lesser extent.