At the next legislative session in September 2014, many bills within the RCFE Reform Act are up for debate. Two have already been signed into law. Another three are on Governor Brown’s desk. Many more are alive and awaiting a decision. See the following list for a comprehensive status update regarding the many RCFE Reform Act bills:
AB 1523 (Atkins): RCFE Liability Insurance – Signed by the Governor into law
Requires residential care facilities and nursing homes to have liability insurance in order to be licensed.
AB 1554 (Skinner): Responding to Consumer Complaints – Failed in Senate Appropriations
Required investigations to be started and completed in a timely manner, provide written notice of findings, and give an opportunity to appeal to complainants.
AB 1571 (Eggman): Consumer Information System – Failed in Senate Appropriations
Required the Dept. of Social Services/Community Care Licensing to create an on-line RCFE consumer information system that provided complete disclosure of ownership and information on all licensed RCFE in California.
AB 1572 (Eggman): Resident & Family Councils – Signed into law
Requires amendment of current laws governing resident councils and family councils in RCFEs to have enhanced rights.
AB 2044 (Rodriguez): RCFE Staffing Requirements – Still alive
Requires that an administrator or facility manager, as well as sufficient staff, to be present 24/7. At least one staff member with CPR training must be present 24/7 and all staff must be trained on emergency responses.
AB 2171 (Wieckowski): Statutory Residents’ Bill of Rights – On Senate Floor
Creates a bill of rights for RCFE residents and provides the Attorney General, residents, or the public to seek injunctive relief to stop any violations of those rights.
AB 2236 (Stone & Mainschein): Increased Penalties for Violations
Increases the current $150 maximum of civil penalties for RCFE violations and will vary minimum and maximum fines depending on the violation. Now also includes a civil penalty system for all facilities, a $10,000 fine for physical abuse or serious bodily harm, $15,000 for deaths as a result of violations, and RCFE providers must now go through four (4) levels of appeal to appeal fines.
SB 894 (Corbett): RCFE Suspension/Revocation of Licenses and SB 895 (Corbett): Inspections/Evaluations of RCFEs
These two bills will be combined, but the effect is unknown although there will be no annual inspections or adequate relocation procedures.
SB 911 (Block): Training and Qualifications of RCFE Staff – On Assembly Floor
Requires an increase in RCFE administrators and staff, as well as training requirements. RCFE facilities will have to employ full or part-time trained medical personnel to care for residents who are under restricted or prohibited health conditions.
SB 1153 (Leno): Ban on Admissions – On Governor’s Desk
Creates new penalties for non-compliance, including withholding admission of new residents in facilities where there is a high risk of harm.
SB 1382 (Block): Increase in RCFE Fees – On Assembly Floor
Initial and annual licensing fees for RCFEs will increase by 30% and the DSS will be given adequate resources to enhance consumer protection.
SB 1124 (Hernandez): Medi-Cal Recovery – On Assembly Floor
Medi-Cal recovery for people 55+ years of age will be limited to what is federally required. Optional recovery for other services and recovery on surviving spouses’ estates will be eliminated and recovery amounts for benefits paid will be limited to whichever is the lesser between services actually received or the capitated monthly rate.
AB 1899 (Brown) – On Governor’s Desk
Permanent ineligibility for reinstatement of a license if the person’s license has been revoked/forfeited for abandonment of the facility
AB 2603 (Perez): Access to Medications – On Governor’s Desk
Currently, those helping family and friends unintentionally break the law when they pick up or transport prescription medication not in their name. This bill will clarify current laws so those helpers will not accidentally break the law.
Have you or your loved ones suffered at the hands of a poorly managed nursing home or assisted living facility? If you have or you think you have, contact The Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and confidential consultation. Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles physical and financial elder abuse, bankruptcy/insurance/consumer fraud, personal injury, and whistleblower cases.