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Assemblymember Mia Bonta, Chair
Assembly Health Committee
1020 N Street, Room 390
Sacramento, CA 95814

sent via CA Legislature Position Letter Portal

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

Dear Chairperson Bonta:

I am writing to express my support for SB 1354, which codifies steps that facilities are already required to take to prevent Medi-Cal discrimination and facilitates public access to already available information.

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. SB 1354 aims to put an end to Medi-Cal discrimination in nursing homes through minimal changes requiring facilities to make information more accessible and discouraging bad actors from engaging in illegal and discriminatory practices.  The bill:

  • Requires facilities to make its census data easily available to anyone who asks so they can confirm whether beds are available;
  • Requires facilities give residents information about Medi-Cal coverage at the point of their proposed discharge; and
  • Codifies the non-discrimination agreement that nursing homes sign when they are certified for Medi-Cal.

[Insert relevant information about your experience with this issue]

The vast majority of California’s nursing homes 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 not engage in Medi-Cal discrimination. Despite these laws, for decades, nursing homes have found numerous ways of discriminating to reduce their Medi-Cal population and reserve their beds for more lucrative private pay or Medicare residents.

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