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The Honorable Richard D. Roth
Chair, Senate Health Committee
1021 O Street, Room 3310
Sacramento, CA 95814

sent via CA Legislature Position Letter Portal

Re: SB 1354 (Wahab) Nursing Facilities: Payment Source Discrimination – SUPPORT

Dear Chairperson Roth:

I am writing to express my support for SB 1354 (Wahab) “Nursing Facilities: Payment Source Discrimination,” which uses language from existing Medi-Cal provider contracts to make it clear that discrimination is actionable, and may be enforced by harmed Medi-Cal beneficiaries seeking redress from government authorities. Medi-Cal discrimination, or the withholding or denying of services based on a patient’s payment source, has long been a problem in nursing homes. 

[Insert relevant information about your your experience with this issue]

Close to 85 percent of California’s skilled nursing facilities receive funds from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to accommodate residents on Medi-Cal. Participation in Medi-Cal is voluntary; participating facilities must sign a provider agreement certifying that they will adhere to all state and federal laws, which include a prohibition against Medi-Cal discrimination. Despite these laws, for decades, nursing homes have found numerous ways of discriminating to reduce their Medi-Cal population and free beds up to make way for more lucrative private pay or Medicare residents.

The situation has prompted the California Department of Public Health to publish an All Facilities Letter reminding facilities of their obligation to provide the same level of care and accommodation to all residents, regardless of their payment source. 

SB 1354 would codify a provision of the Medi-Cal provider agreement that all Medi-Cal certified nursing homes sign, and enhance the rights residents are entitled to under law. These are just some of the reasons I support SB 1354 (Wahab). Please vote yes on SB 1354.


[Your name]

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