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. DATE Governor Gavin NewsomState Capitol, 1st FloorSacramento, CA 95814 sent via email to email@example.comDear Governor Newsom: I urge you to promptly sign AB 279 (Muratsuchi), the ICF and SNF Resident Protection Act of 2021.
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 279 would prohibit the owner of an ICF or SNF from ceasing to deliver or making significant changes to residential care services, or from transferring a resident to another facility, during any declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), except if the owner files for bankruptcy.
Since 1982, California nursing home residents have had a “private right of action” (the ability to sue) for violations of their rights. Last year, the state Supreme Court ruled that nursing homes that violate the rights of residents may only be held liable for $500 maximum, regardless of how many rights a facility violates and how egregious those violations are.
This bill enhances the state nursing home enforcement system by: 1) increasing the penalties for state citations issued against nursing homes to keep up with inflation and 2) updating the criteria for AA citations (those that cause the death of a resident) from the old “direct proximate cause of death’ standard to the more clear “substantial factor” standard used by courts.
Nursing homes investors are increasingly setting up “related party” businesses to avoid accountability and hide profits. AB 1042 would help counter that trend by establishing shared standards and liability for entities that have shared ownership and control. Specifically, the bill would make related parties liable for a nursing home’s unpaid State fees and fines. Status: On way to Governor’s desk.
This bill would prohibit a skilled nursing facility from contracting with a medical director if the person is not, or will not be within 5 years, certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine as a Certified Medical Director. Status: On way to Governor’s desk. (At Engrossing and Enrolling) Read the Bill Read CANHR Support Letter
Californians are paying more for nursing home care, for fewer residents, than ever before and we are not getting our money’s worth. Despite spending nearly six billion dollars a year, complaints against facilities are at record highs and the care provided is often abysmal. Nursing homes are using complex ownership structures to siphon unprecedented amounts of money to “related parties,” allowing corporate home offices to hide their profits and support facilities’ claims for yet more public money.
This bill would authorize information relevant to the incident of elder or dependent adult abuse to be given to a federal law enforcement agency. Status: Ordered to 3rd Reading Read the Bill Read CANHR Support Letter
This bill would amend the rights of residents of RCFEs, in those facilities with existing internet service, to add the right to have available at least one internet access tool with videoconference technology as part of the facility’s activity program. Status: Referred to Senate Appropriations Read the Bill Download Fact Sheet Sample Support Letter
This bill would extend eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented individuals who are 65 or older. Status: Passed Assembly Health and referred to Appropriations Read the Bill Read CANHR Support Letter
This bill would make the California Community Care Transitions Program permanent, and reduce the time needed for an applicant to be considered “institutionalized” to 60 days spent in a Skilled Nursing Facility. Status: Referred to Assembly Health Committee Read the Bill Read CANHR Support Letter
This bill would create the Office of the Patient Representative to train and oversee patient representatives to protect the rights of nursing home residents who allegedly lack capacity to make decisions and have no surrogate decisionmaker available. Status: This bill was ordered to the inactive file, but provisions were included in budget trailer bill language Read the Bill Read CANHR Support Letter
This bill would permit damages for a decedent’s pain, suffering, or disfigurement to be recovered in an action brought by the decedent’s personal representative or successor in interest. Status: Placed on Appropriations Suspense File Read the Bill
This bill was ordered to the inactive file, but the provisions were included in budget trailer bill language. The provisions would create a pilot program to permit certain adult residential facilities (ARFs) and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) to be eligible to receive a stipend of $1,000 per month per resident on SSI. Status: Ordered to the inactive file Read the Bill Download Fact Sheet Sample Support Letter Read CANHR Support Letter
This bill responds to a remarkable investigation and series of articles by the Los Angeles Times on audacious, widespread fraud by hospices in Los Angeles County, which has seen explosive growth of for-profit hospices that has given it the highest concentration of hospices in the nation. SB 664 would impose a qualified moratorium on the issuance of new hospice licenses until 365 days after the California State Auditor publishes a report on hospice licensure or when it is repealed on January 1, 2027, whichever is soonest.
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: Hearing in Senate Judiciary Committee on 7/13/21 Read the Bill Read CANHR Oppose Unless Amended Letter
SB 650 requires nursing homes to file annual consolidated financial statements, giving the State and the public more transparency for nursing home payments. The public has the right to know how much of its money is supporting nursing home residents versus how much is being spent on the lifestyles of billionaire nursing homes owners.
As the sponsor of AB 279, we are writing in strong support of this vital bill, which ensures that residents of skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) and Intermediate Care Facilities (“ICFs”) are not subject to forced transfer to new facilities during a period when COVID-19 pandemic visitation guidelines prevent them and their families from entering and inspecting their proposed new homes before transfer to ensure that they are safe.
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform strongly supports AB 849, a bill that will restore a critical tool for protecting the rights and well-being of nursing home residents. Nursing home residents have been living a nightmare of isolation and death and they are in dire need of the private right of enforcement that was lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.