The following bills are the CANHR sponsored, supported, and opposed legislation for the 2015 legislative session.
SB 33 (Hernandez): Medi-Cal Recovery Reform – Now a 2-year bill.
This bill would limit 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 allow hardship exemptions for homesteads of modest value. SB 33 is co-sponsored by Western Center on Law and Poverty.
AB 348 (Brown): Nursing Homes: Timelines for Complaint Investigations – Now a 2-year bill. Pending Senate Appropriations
This bill would establish timelines for the Department of Public Health (DPH) to complete complaint investigations. The part of the bill dealing with timelines for public complaints has already been enacted through budget bill SB 75, which sets a 60-day timeline for completing investigations effective on July 1, 2018. AB 348, as amended, would require DPH to complete investigations of facility reports of abuse and neglect within the same timelines.
AB 601 (Eggman): Suitability of Ownership/Ownership Disclosure for RCFEs – Signed into law! Effective January 1, 2016.
AB 601 establishes specific suitability of ownership criteria and require applicants for a residential care facility for the elderly license to disclose complete ownership information, including disclosure of any person(s) who holds a 10% or more beneficial interest in the facility and all related entities.
Read the Factsheet
Read the Bill
AB 927 (McCarty): The Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure Act – Now a two-year bill.
This bill would revise California laws governing acquisition of nursing homes, strengthen suitability requirements for operators, and improve public disclosure on nursing home ownership. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is co-sponsoring AB 927.
SB 475 (Monning): Return of CCRC Resale Payments – Vetoed by the Governor.
This bill would require the continuing care retirement facility to pay the full lump-sum payment that is conditioned upon resale of a unit to the resident within 14 days after resale of the unit and would require the CCRC, for contracts signed after January 1, 2016, to pay at least 20% of the full lump-sum payment to the resident within 120 days after a formerly occupied unit has been vacated. Among other provisions, the bill would require the facility to make the lump-sum payment to the resident’s estate if the resident is deceased.
AB 1085 (Gatto): Visitation and Personal Contact Rights – Signed by the Governor.
Declares that every adult in this state has the right to visit with, and receive mail and telephone or electronic communication from whomever he or she so chooses, unless a court has specifically ordered otherwise.
AB 1235 (Gipson): Long Term Care Medi-Cal – Home Upkeep Allowance – Died in Senate Appropriations.
This bill would have increased the current home upkeep allowance of $208.33 to the actual minimum cost of maintaining the home, such as mortgage or rent, property taxes, and required insurance: set a limit of $7,500 on the total allowance; and established other eligibility criteria. In the end, this bill would have actually enabled residents to return home and would have saved the state funds by shortening nursing home stays.
AB 1319 (Dababneh): Medi-Cal Share of Cost – Died in Senate Appropriations.
Dependent on federal approval, this bill would have increased the “any income deduction” from $20 to $50 for Medically Needy Only Medi-Cal applicants and beneficiaries.
AB 1387 (Chu): RCFE Fines and Penalties Appeals System – Signed by the Governor.
AB 1387 amends the RCFE citation appeals system, so that facilities will have two levels of appeal rather than four. Currently, with four levels of appeal for RCFE violations, it is nearly impossible for fines to be collected, even if they are assessed. Regretfully, AB 1387 was amended so that it no longer provides a system of appeal for consumers who file complaints against RCFEs.
AB 1518 (Committee on Aging & Long Term Care): Expansion of NF/AH Waivers – Died in Appropriations.
Expands the Nursing Facility/Acute Hospital (NF/AH) waiver program by 5,000 slots, and stabilizes service for younger, disabled Californians participating in the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program.
SB 19 (Wolk): Statewide POLST Registry – Signed by the Governor.
This bill would require the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) to operate a statewide registry system for the purpose of collecting POLST forms from health care providers and disseminating that information to authorized users. In addition to the fact that AHCDs are generally superior to POLSTs for advance care planning, under SB 19 AHCDs will continue to languish in a registry system that is ancient, unused, and virtually worthless. If the state is going to create a state of the art registry for POLST, it ought to include AHCDs.
More Misery for the Poor – AB 139 Transfer on Death Deeds Signed into Law AB 139 (Gatto) was recently signed by the Governor.
With a sunset date of January 1, 2021, AB 139 creates the revocable transfer on death deed (revocable TOD deed), which would transfer real property on the death of its owner without a probate proceeding. The bill would also provide that the deed, during the owner’s life, does not affect his or her ownership rights and, specifically, is part of the owner’s estate for the purpose of Medi-Cal eligibility and recovery. The new law creates a statutory form – the “SIMPLE Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed.” Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about this 24-page poorly drafted new law. Not only is it not simple, but it will surely complicate the lives of those it is aimed to assist, i.e., those who don’t wish to pay or can’t afford to pay attorneys fees.
CANHR strongly opposed this bill – and similar bills over the years – as we believe it would make many elders even more susceptible to undue influence and elder abuse. These deeds are also subject to estate recovery, which means that those same low-income elders, who are likely to execute TODs will also be more likely to be on Medi-Cal and thus subject their estates to recovery. Proposed as a low cost alternative for those seniors who cannot afford attorneys for trusts or other alternatives, AB 139 will undoubtedly cause more harm than good. As one organization opposed to the bill noted, these deeds “will become the new form of easy, convenient, and cheap elder abuse.”
CANHR will be embarking on a legal services and consumer education campaign to try to blunt the impact of this unfortunate bill. For the text of the bill as passed, see http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
For details on specific bills, go to: www.leginfo.ca.gov