SB 263 (Dodd): Insurance: Annuity & Life Insurance Consumer Protections

CANHR supported the initial March 7, 2023, version of SB 263, which would have protected vulnerable seniors from potential financial abuses in the sale of annuity and insurance products. However, the April 17, 2023, amended version of SB 263 substantially weakened the bill by limiting its scope and gutting its standard of care. The latest version of the bill would harm consumers for the following reasons.

SB 232 (Niello): Mental Health Services: Gravely Disabled

Attempts to change a key element of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, the landmark 1967 legislation that ended the involuntary institutionalization of people with severe mental-health issues. Under this proposal, the definition of what constitutes a “gravely disabled” person would be amended to include homeless persons who are unable to care for themselves. Status: Referred to Committees on Health and Judiciary

SB 774 (Jones & Grove): Nonprofit Health Facilities: Sale of Assets: Attorney General Approval: Conditional Consent

Would severely limit the authority of California’s Attorney General to protect access and affordability of hospital services provided by most hospitals in California. This would in turn impact healthcare costs for Californians, including members of the small business community who already struggle with access to affordable care. Status: Set for hearing 4/12/23.

SB 875 (Glazer): Referral source for residential care facilities for the elderly: duties

This bill would recast the requirements on a placement agency and its employees to instead be requirements on a referral source, defined to mean any specified county department, stated-funded program, agency, or person that is engaged in identifying senior housing options at residential care facilities for the elderly. Status: Set for hearing 4/17/23.

AB 1537 (Wood): Skilled Nursing Facilities: Direct Care Spending Requirements

This bill would require by July 1, 2024, the establishment of a direct patient-related services spending, reporting, and rebate requirement for skilled nursing facilities, with exceptions. Would require that a minimum of 85% of a facility’s total non-Medicare health revenues from all payer sources in each fiscal year be expended on residents’ direct patient-related services, as defined.

AB 1536 (Carillo & Santiago): Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Immigrants

Would expand eligibility for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) program to aged, blind, and disabled individuals regardless of immigration status if the individual meets the eligibility criteria for the program and is not eligible solely due to their immigration status. Status: Re-referred to Committee on Appropriations

AB 1417 (Wood): Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse: Mandated Reporting

Will require mandated reporters to follow a single, simplified reporting process, and also require reports of abuse or neglect to be reported sooner than under the current system (e.g., 24 hours vs. 2 working days). Would ensure that criminal acts are reported to law enforcement first. This bill will ensure that residents of long-term care facilities have the same protections against elder abuse as persons who reside in their own homes.

AB 1387 (Ting & Weiner): In-Home Supportive Services: Provider Shortage

Would require the Department of Health Care Services to establish a grant-based program to support outreach and education to encourage immigrants to become in-home supportive services (IHSS) providers, contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature for that purpose. Status: Referred to Committee on Human Services. Will be heard 4/18/23.

AB 486 (Kalra): Long-Term Health Facilities: Citation Appeals

This bill would provide a more consistent framework for the appeals process across regulatory citations for long-term care facilities in California. This would reduce the burden on our superior court system and save judicial resources and taxpayer money. Furthermore, it would streamline and improve a process that is designed to hold negligent facilities (i.e., nursing homes) accountable.

SB 311 (Eggman): Medi-Cal Part A Buy-In

SB 311 would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to submit a State Plan Amendment for California to become a Part A Buy-In State. SB 311 would benefit low-income older Californians and persons with disabilities, who rely on Medicare and Medi-Cal but struggle to pay costly Medicare Part A premiums, by simplifying the enrollment process for financial assistance.

AB 488 (Nguyen): Medi-Cal: skilled nursing facilities: vision loss

Using the Workforce and Quality Incentive Program, under which a skilled nursing facility provides services to a Medi-Cal managed care enrollee, AB 488 would require that the program includes staff training and general facility improvements aimed at addressing the needs of skilled nursing facility residents with vision loss. This would include modifying facility registration documents, menus, activities, announcements, schedules and a variety of other materials that are seldom found in large print.

AB 979 (Alvarez): Strengthening Family Councils in Long Term Care Facilities

AB 979 modernizes existing family council laws, so that members can meet and communicate electronically and continue to operate during a public health emergency.  The bill ensures that facilities will be more responsive to concerns raised by family councils, discourages operators from undermining family council activities, and clarifies that control of the family council membership and participation in meetings lies with the family council itself.  AB 979 also harmonizes family council protections in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which is long overdue.

AB 48 (Aguiar-Curry): Nursing Facility Resident Informed Consent Protection Act of 2023

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, the U.S. Office of Inspector General recently found that 80% of long-stay nursing home residents are receiving psychotropic drugs.  A big reason why so many residents are drugged is that they are never given information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to psychotropic drugs and the choice to refuse them.  AB 48 will better ensure that residents are given the right information and meaningful choice.