The following bills include the RCFE Reform Act of 2014, the Medi-Cal Recovery reform, and other bills that CANHR sponsored or supported this legislative session.
RCFE Reform Act of 2014
AB 1523 (Atkins): RCFE Liability Insurance – Signed into law.
Effective July 1, 2015, each Residential Care Facility for the Elderly, as a condition of licensure, will be required to obtain and maintain liability insurance. Each facility must to maintain liability insurance in the amount of one million dollars per occurrence and three million in the annual aggregate to cover injury to resident or guests caused by the negligent. (Sponsored by CARR, San Diego)
AB 1572 (Eggman): Resident & Family Councils – Signed into law.
This bill amends current laws to enhance the rights of resident councils and family councils in RCFEs.
AB 1899 (Brown): Forfeiture of License – Signed into law.
This bill would prohibit aperson whose license has been revoked or forfeited for abandonment of the facility permanently ineligible for reinstatement of a license.
AB 2044 (Rodriguez): RCFE Staffing Requirements – Signed into law.
This bill requires an administrator or facility manager or designated substitute to be on premises 24/7, and for sufficient staff to be on premises 24/7 to carry out required responsibilities. This bill also requires at least one staff member with CPR and first aid training to be on premises at all times. This bill would also require staff to be trained on building and fire safety and responding to emergencies.
AB 2171 (Wieckowski): Statutory Residents’ Bill of Rights – Signed into law.
This bill as amended creates a statutory, comprehensive bill of rights for residents of RCFEs. The part of the bill allowing residents to file a lawsuit to obtain an injunction to fight violations of their rights was stripped from the bill in an amendment just prior to its final floor votes. This means the important rights codified in the bill will have to be enforced by DSS, which traditionally has done a poor job of enforcing resident rights.
AB 2236 (Stone & Mainschein): Increased Penalties – Signed into law.
This bill was significantly amended and includes an enormously complicated civil penalty system for all categories of facilities; imposes a $10,000 fine against RCFEs for physical abuse or serious bodily harm; imposes a $15,000 fine for deaths due to violations; and creates four (4!!!) levels of appeal for RCFE providers to appeal the fines.
SB 895 (Corbett) – Signed into law.
RCFE Suspension/Revocation of Licenses (formerly SB 894) and Inspections/Evaluations of RCFEs (formerly SB 895):
These bills have been substantially amended and combined into one bill which variously requires facilities to correct deficiencies within 10 days unless otherwise specified and requires the Department to post online instructions on how to obtain inspection reports offline, design an informational poster on reporting complaints and emergencies for display in RCFEs and notify the State Ombudsman Office when it plans to issue a temporary suspension or revocation of a facility license.
SB 911 (Block): Training and qualifications of RCFE staff – Signed into law.
This bill increases the qualifications and training requirements for RCFE administrators from 40 hours to 80 hours and require facilities who accept and retain residents with restricted or prohibited health conditions to employ trained medical personnel as appropriate.
SB 1153 (Leno): Ban on Admissions – Signed into law.
This bill creates new penalties for non-compliance, including authorizing the Department of Social Services to suspend the admission of new residents in facilities where there is a substantial probability of harm.
SB 1382 (Block): Increase in RCFE Fees – Signed into law.
This bill increases the initial and annual licensing fees for RCFEs for every sized facility and makes legislative findings that it is imperative that DSS be given adequate resources to support its mandate to provide consumer protection.
Other CANHR Sponsored bills:
SB 1124 (Hernandez): Medi-Cal Recovery – Vetoed by the Governor.
This bill would have limited Medi-Cal recovery for those who are 55+ years of age to only what is required by federal law, and eliminate optional recovery for other services; eliminate recovery on surviving spouses’ estates; and require the Department to provide estate claim itemization to consumers for free upon request. Note: Co-sponsored with Western Center on Law and Poverty, this bill had unanimous bipartisan support, passing the Assembly Floor by 78-0 and the Senate Floor by 33-0.
In his veto message, the Governor noted that “allowing more asset protection for the next generation may be a reasonable policy goal”… but the costs need to be considered next year. So there is hope that he and his budget folks can be persuaded that forcing low income citizens to sell their family homes or pay back Medi-Cal claims at 7% interest is simply poor public policy.
SB 33 (Hernandez), which is nearly the same as SB 1124, has been introduced for the 2015 legislative session with a few changes from SB 1124, including possibly reducing the 7% interest rate. CANHR will co-sponsor with Western Center on Law and Poverty.
AB 1700 (Medina): Reverse Mortgage Protections – Signed into Law.
This bill helps borrowers make informed decisions about whether a reverse mortgage is a suitable choice for their individual circumstances. AB 1700 requires reverse mortgage sellers to give prospective borrowers a self-evaluation worksheet, to be completed before the existing mandatory counseling session. The worksheet flags five possible pitfalls for reverse mortgage borrowers.
AB 2603 (Perez): Access to Medications – Signed into law.
This bill would clarify current law so that those trying to help an infirm family member or friend will not inadvertently break the law by picking up or transporting a prescription that is not in their name.
AB 1804 (Perea): Consumer Protections from Insurance Lapses – Signed into law.
This bill would expand the ability of consumers to designate additional persons to receive notices of lapse or termination of insurance policies due to non-payment of the premium.
Other RCFE bills of Interest
AB 1570 (Chesbro): Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly – Signed into law.
This bill would strengthen certification requirements for RCFE administrators and increase training requirements for direct care staff. It would also extend and expand certain dementia care training requirements to all RCFEs rather than just those that advertise or promote special dementia care.
For details on specific bills, go to: www.leginfo.ca.gov