10 Bills To Overhaul Assisted-Living Facilities Await Brown’s Approval
Ten bills aimed at overhauling assisted-living facilities in California have been approved by the state Legislature and now are awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) signature or veto, U-T San Diego reports (Schoch, U-T San Diego, 8/29).
This year, state lawmakers advanced 12 bills aimed at reforming the assisted-living industry. Brown has signed two of the measures:
- A bill (AB 1523) that requires assisted-living facilities to obtain liability insurance; and
- A bill (AB 1572) that requires assisted-living facilities to give residents greater representation by enabling them to create and maintain a resident council.
Meanwhile, lawmakers rejected five measures, including:
- A bill (AB 1454) that would have required every facility licensed by the state Department of Social Services to undergo annual, unannounced inspections;
- A bill (AB 1554) which would have required the Department of Social Services to investigate complaints related to alleged abuse or imminent physical harm within one business day, instead of 10; and
- A bill (AB 1571) that would have created a more detailed online consumer information portal with data on every licensed assisted-living facility in the state (California Healthline, 8/19).
Details of Bills Awaiting Approval
The governor has until Sept. 30 to approve or veto the 10 measures still awaiting action (U-T San Diego, 8/29).
Eight of the measures on Brown's desk were part of a larger package of bills, called the RCFE Reform Act of 2014, including:
- AB 1899, which would make individuals who have had their license revoked or forfeited for facility abandonment permanently ineligible for reinstatement of a license;
- AB 2044, which would require sufficient staff to be at facilities at all times, including at least one staff member trained in CPR and first aid;
- AB 2171, which would create a Bill of Rights for assisted-living facility residents;
- AB 2236, which would increase civil penalty limits to $15,000 in cases where assisted-living residents' deaths are related to poor care, up from the current maximum fine of $150;
- SB 895, which would require the state Department of Social Services to make inspection reports for long-term care facilities publicly accessible on the agency's website by Jan. 1, 2020, and would require such facilities to fix problems found during inspections within 10 days in most cases;
- SB 911, which would increase training requirements for assisted-living center administrators and would require facilities that accept residents with certain health conditions to hire trained medical personnel;
- SB 1153, which would establish new penalties for non-compliant facilities; and
- SB 1382, which would increase licensing fees for assisted-living facilities (California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform website, 8/29).
Brown has not indicated whether he plans to sign the measures, but his office pushed for several of the bills, according to U-T San Diego.
Pat McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, called the legislation "historic."
A new industry group called 6 Beds said it was "very successful in voicing [its] concerns" about bills that might have unfairly imposed burdens on assisted-living facilities.
However, California Assisted Living Association President Sally Michael said there was "a lot of very good progress this year," but that the group will be "looking at stronger oversight" in the future (U-T San Diego, 8/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.