Residential Care Facilities Admission Agreements Misleading, Study Finds
Many of the care agreements in California residential care facilities contain misleading information, according to a recent report by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the Sacramento Bee reports. The study, which evaluated 109 facilities, found that many of the agreements contain "unfair reasons for evictions" and fail to include information about residents' rights and rate increase procedures. The report states, "Legalistic contract language, poorly organized agreements and small fonts make some documents difficult to read or understand." A bill (SB 211) proposed by Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) would require standardized admissions agreements at the state's 6,328 licensed residential care facilities. It would also mandate that a fee schedule, residents' rights and procedures for refunds, contract termination and payments be included in the agreements, the Bee reports. The bill would allow people to voluntarily agree to arbitration instead of a civil lawsuit at the time of a dispute, but it would not allow facilities to require it. The California Assisted Living Association, which represents assisted living centers, and many individual facilities oppose the bill, saying some centers want to be able to require residents to agree to binding arbitration when they are admitted (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 4/3). The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.
In related news, another study has found that access to long-term care for California seniors "varies greatly from county to county." The study, by the California Association for Adult Day Services and funded by a $100,000 grant from the Department of Aging, found "huge gaps" in the availability of long-term care programs and transportation to programs, Lydia Missaelides, executive director of the association, said. Lawmakers have been working on a statewide plan for elder care, but county governments may lose state money to fund such services because of the budget deficit, according to the Bee (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 4/2).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.