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.
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.