State Auditor Blasts California Department of Public Health for Enabling Large-Scale Hospice Fraud, Abuse and Neglect

A scathing March 29, 2022 report by Michael Tilden, Acting California State Auditor, charged that the California Department of Public Health “essentially enabled hospice agency operators who are possibly fraudulent to continue functioning, putting patients at serious risk of not receiving appropriate care.” The long-awaited report opens with a letter to the governor and legislative leaders that states: “Indicators strongly suggest that a network or networks of individual perpetrators in Los Angeles County are engaging in a large and organized effort to defraud the Medicare and Medi-Cal hospice programs.

Support AB-2546: Chairperson Nazarian

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on residents of long-term care facilities. In addition to virus-caused sickness and death, residents have suffered severe loss from government-imposed visitation lockouts that separated residents from their families, friends, and other essential support persons. AB 2546 gives every resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility the right to in-person, onsite, and unscheduled access to a minimum of two resident-designated support persons during any public health emergency in which residents’ normal visitation rights are curtailed. 

AB 1900 (Arambula): Increase Maintenance Need Income Levels

The Medi-Cal share of cost program extends Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income older adults and people with disabilities who have significant health care needs but are just above the free Medi-Cal income limit. The share of cost program acts as a critical pathway to health care coverage, but outdated income limits force people to spend more than half of their income on health care needs every month.

AB 1809 (Aguiar-Curry): Nursing Facility Resident Informed Consent Protection Act of 2022

Despite dangerous side effects, condemnation by care providers, and a decade-long national and state campaign to reduce the inappropriate use of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes, over half of California nursing home residents are being given psychotropic drugs, typically without informed consent. AB 1809 would codify and expand existing informed consent rules to ensure nursing home residents are given important information about drugs that are prescribed for them and an opportunity to consent or withhold consent.

AB-2546 Fact Sheet

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on residents of long-term care facilities. In addition to virus-caused sickness and death, residents have suffered severe loss from government-imposed visitation lockouts that separated residents from their families, friends, and other essential support persons. AB 2546 gives every resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility the right to in-person, onsite, and unscheduled access to a minimum of two resident-designated support persons during any public health emergency in which residents’ normal visitation rights are curtailed. 

AB 1320 (Jones): Life Insurance – Nonpayment Premium Notice

This bill would eliminate consumer protections for everyone who purchased life insurance prior to January 1, 2013, and would disproportionately impact seniors and the disabled for whom the existing laws were designed to protect.  These existing protections seek to address the historical problem of life insurance policies of elders and the disabled lapsing due to cognitive impairment, infirmity, or death. 

OPPOSE SB-1320

This bill would eliminate consumer protections for everyone who purchased life insurance prior to January 1, 2013, and would disproportionately impact seniors and the disabled for whom the existing laws were designed to protect.  These existing protections seek to address the historical problem of life insurance policies of elders and the disabled lapsing due to cognitive impairment, infirmity, or death. 

AB 1809 Sample Support Letter

If submitting electronically, please copy the text below, and we encourage you to add your personal stories and perspective to it. If submitting by mail you can DOWNLOAD A WORD FILE to edit and print out. Your support letter can be uploaded using the Position Letter Portal at https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/. You will have to create an account if you do not already have one.  Assemblymember Jim WoodChair, Assembly Health CommitteeAssembly Health Committee1020 N Street, Room 390Sacramento, California 95814 sent via CA Legislature Position Letter Portal RE: AB 1809 (Aguiar-Curry) – Support Dear Chairperson Wood: I write to you in support of AB 1809, a very important bill to protect nursing facility residents from the excessive use of psychotropic drugs. 

AB-1663 Fact Sheet

Background: The Britney Spears conservatorship case exposed deep flaws within California’s probate conservatorship system – demonstrating how easily people can become trapped in a conservatorship and how difficult it is to escape. People with disabilities and older adults are often caught in the pipeline to conservatorship, a system that strips them of basic civil rights and their ability to advocate for themselves.

Support AB-1809: Chairperson Wood

Despite dangerous side effects, condemnation by care providers, and a decade-long national and state campaign to reduce the inappropriate use of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes, over half of California nursing home residents are being given psychotropic drugs, typically without informed consent. AB 1809 would codify and expand existing informed consent rules to ensure nursing home residents are given important information about drugs that are prescribed for them and an opportunity to consent or withhold consent.

SB 1323 (Archuleta): Foreclosure Equity Sale

California’s foreclosure process legitimizes the large-scale extraction of billions of dollars of wealth from low-income communities. When a homeowner can’t pay back their mortgage loan, the lender often sells the property at an auction, takes back the loan’s remaining balance, and the homeowner receives any surplus funds from the sale. As properties at auction sell for far below value, the defaulted homeowner often loses tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of accrued home equity.

SB-1323 Fact Sheet

California’s foreclosure process legitimizes the large-scale extraction of billions of dollars of wealth from low-income communities. When a homeowner can’t pay back their mortgage loan, the lender often sells the property at an auction, takes back the loan’s remaining balance, and the homeowner receives any surplus funds from the sale. As properties at auction sell for far below value, the defaulted homeowner often loses tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of accrued home equity.

California Nursing Home Industry Seeks to Cash-In on Pandemic Tragedies

Raising the wages of nursing home caregivers is smart. Trusting nursing homes with even more hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is dumb. On March 2, 2022, the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) – a trade group representing nursing home operators – announced a legislative proposal for California to fund a living wage for certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

2021 California Legislation

CANHR has supported, opposed, and/or closely followed the below pieces of legislation this session. Please check www.canhrlegislation.com for updated details on legislation, and www.leginfo.ca.gov for information on specific bills.  CANHR Sponsored Bills  AB 279 (Muratsuchi): Prohibiting Resident Eviction During the Pandemic Many residents of California skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) and Intermediate Care Facilities (“ICFs”) face a terrible prospect in the ongoing COVID pandemic: involuntary transfer to new facilities, sight unseen, far from their families and support networks.

AB 499 (Rubio): Referral Source for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly

This bill would require an RCFE referral agency to provide certain disclosures to seniors, and to maintain a minimum amount of liability coverage, but does not provide oversight or sufficient enforcement mechanisms. Status: Status: Ordered to the inactive file Read the Bill Read CANHR Oppose Unless Amended Letter Read CANHR’s Letter of Continued Opposition

OPPOSE AB-499 CONTINUED

AB 499 seeks to amend California law governing referral agencies for assisted living facilities (known in California as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly or RCFEs) to provide accountability, but instead creates unnecessary communication and compliance barriers. Specifically, while the bill allows referral agencies to provide information to seniors about its services and fees verbally, it requires seniors to submit a written request if they want to receive such information in writing.

Support AB-1663: Assembly Committee on Judiciary

The Britney Spears conservatorship case exposed deep flaws within California’s probate conservatorship system – demonstrating how easily people can become trapped in a conservatorship and how difficult it is to escape. People with disabilities and older adults are often caught in the pipeline to conservatorship, a system that strips them of basic civil rights and their ability to advocate for themselves.

AB 1663 (Maienschein): The Probate Conservatorship Reform and Supported Decision-Making Act

Background: The Britney Spears conservatorship case exposed deep flaws within California’s probate conservatorship system – demonstrating how easily people can become trapped in a conservatorship and how difficult it is to escape. People with disabilities and older adults are often caught in the pipeline to conservatorship, a system that strips them of basic civil rights and their ability to advocate for themselves.