For the first time in years, nursing home residents have a group of legislative champions fighting together for better care. This morning, these champions – Senator Stern and Assemblymembers Muratsuchi, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Nazarian, and Reyes – held a press conference announcing a transformational package of bills to improve nursing home oversight, financial transparency, accountability, and ultimately enhance care for all residents. The seven bills in the package are collectively known as the Prioritize Responsible Ownership, Treatment, Equity, and Corporate Transparency (PROTECT Plan).
Californians should be heartened by the introduction of the PROTECT Plan and the momentum for change in the State Capitol. But introducing bills is just one step in a long journey to improving nursing home care. These bills will need your support to become law! Stay tuned for announcements about opportunities to weigh in on the need for reform.
The 2021 Nursing Home PROTECT Plan:
- SB 650 (Stern): Corporate Transparency in Elder Care. Requires nursing homes to submit audited consolidated financial reports so the public can see how much of its tax dollars are being spent on care for residents and how much is being spent on “related party” businesses the nursing home owns or controls.
- AB 279 (Muratsuchi): Prohibiting Resident Eviction During the Pandemic. Prohibits intermediate care homes or nursing homes from terminating services to residents or from transferring a resident to another facility without consent during any declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- AB 323 (Kalra): Nursing Home Citations. Provides a long-overdue inflationary boost to nursing home citation penalties and updates the criteria for AA citations (those that cause the death of a resident) from the old “direct proximate cause of death’ standard to the clearer “substantial factor” standard.
- AB 749 (Nazarian): Certification of Nursing Home Medical Directors. Requires nursing home medical directors to be certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
- AB 849 (Reyes): Nursing Home Resident Rights. Restores facility liability to up to $500 for each violation of a resident’s rights, undoing last year’s awful Jarman v. HCR Manorcare decision, which held that nursing homes could violate as many resident rights as it wants for $500.
- AB 1042 (Jones Sawyer): Related Party Accountability. Establishes shared liability for entities that share ownership or control of nursing homes. Related parties will be liable for unpaid state monetary penalties for citations and unpaid Quality Assurance Fees.
- AB 1502 (Muratsuchi): Nursing Home Ownership and Management Reform. Establishes suitability standards for persons and entities seeking to run nursing homes and ends nursing home squatting, where persons or entities run nursing homes with no approval from the state.