Brown Signs Bill Increasing Rights of Assisted-Living Residents
On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill (AB 1572) that requires assisted-living facilities give residents greater representation by enabling them to create and maintain a resident council, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The bill is one of two measures by Assembly member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) as part of a package of bills, called the RCFE Reform Act of 2014, aimed at improving care at assisted-living centers across California (Nelson, Contra Costa Times, 7/23).
The RCFE Reform Act was introduced in response to an investigation by U-T San Diego in partnership with the California HealthCare Foundation's Center for Health Reporting. CHCF publishes California Healthline.
After analyzing 7,000 state records of assisted-living center inspections, the investigators identified a variety of problems that mostly were caused by:
- Lack of training for staff; and
- Poor patient oversight (California Healthline, 4/9).
Details of AB 1572
The new law requires assisted-living centers to help establish a resident council if two or more residents request one. Prior to the signing of AB 1572, facilities were required to help residents establish a council only if a majority of residents requested one.
In addition, the bill requires facilities to:
- Inform residents about the council and related activities;
- Respond in writing to resident council concerns; and
- Respond to concerns of family councils (Stockton Record, 7/23).