AB 1523 (Atkins) Liability insurance for RCFEs
CALA supports this bill to require all RCFEs to carry liability insurance in the amount of $1 million per occurrence and $3 million in total annual aggregate. CALA members currently carry this type of coverage as required by the terms of their financing and as good practice dictates. We are pleased that this bill was signed by the Governor on August 15th. Like all new laws, we will keep our members posted on the implementation of this bill.
AB 1570 (Chesbro) RCFE administrator and staff training
CALA is pleased to co-sponsor this administrator and staff training bill with the California Council of the Alzheimer’s Association and LeadingAge California. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Most recent amendments made the bill complementary to SB 911 (see below), the other bill related to staff and administrator training. Specifically, AB 1570 increases staff training to 40 hours of training in the first year (currently 10 hours in the first 4 weeks), and 20 hours of ongoing training each year (required after the first year). The initial 40 hours of training will be phased in: 20 hours of training are required before working independently, then the remaining 20 hours are required within the first four weeks of employment. This bill increases the state-proctored administrator exam to 100 questions (from 40) and requires a yearly update of the exam. The initial dementia care training hours are doubled and included in the additional training hours applied to all RCFEs, not just those that advertise dementia care. Like all new laws, we will update our members on the implementation of this bill.
AB 1572 (Eggman) RCFE resident and family councils
CALA supports this bill relating to resident and family councils, as these groups can enhance the overall experience of our residents and their families. AB 1572 was signed into law by the Governor in late July. We will keep our members updated on the implementation of this new law.
AB 1899 (Brown) Bill to Ban Licensure After Abandonment
CALA supports this bill that prohibits licensees who have abandoned an RCFE from obtaining a new RCFE license. AB 1899 was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will update our members on the requirements of this new law.
AB 2044 (Rodriguez) RCFE staffing and training
CALA worked closely with Assemblymember Rodriguez to refine provisions of this bill, which requires at least one CPR-trained staff to be present at all times and a designated lead staff (21 years or older) on site at all times. The most recent amendments specify that the CPR-trained staff is not required to provide CPR, which prevents CPR from being performed on a resident with a DNR order. AB 2044 was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will update our members of the implementation of the bill.
AB 2171 (Wieckowski) RCFE resident rights
CALA was able to offer support to AB 2171 as amended on August 22, 2014 when all private right of action provisions that would have set the stage for shakedown lawsuits in Assisted Living communities were removed. The remaining provisions of the bill focus on codifying existing resident rights. Also, the final version of the bill does prohibit the mandatory waiver of any rights, which would prohibit mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements. This is consistent with the policies outlined in the Federal Arbitration Act, which allows for voluntary pre-dispute arbitration agreements. With these amendments, the bill is now centered on residents rather than attorneys and CALA is able to support the bill. We owe many thanks to all CALA members who helped our advocacy in opposition to earlier versions of this bill. Your phone calls, letters, and meetings with legislators were incredibly instrumental in our grassroots efforts to defeat specific provisions of AB 2171. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will keep our members updated on the implementation of this bill.
AB 2236 (Maienschein and Stone) Civil penalties
As originally drafted, this bill was a comprehensive revision of the RCFE civil penalty system, sponsored by CALA and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. While the recent and significant amendments substantially increased fines, one primary goal of the original bill, other reforms were removed such as the departmental consideration and discretion in the civil penalty process. Most significantly, the most recent amendments incorporate every other community care licensing provider type, which is well beyond the scope of CALA’s original intent of reforming only the RCFE civil penalty system. For these reasons, we changed our position to neutral on this bill. However, we note that AB 2236 will no longer allow for a civil penalty for a violation that led to a death of a resident of an RCFE be assessed at an insignificant $150—the most intended reform of the original bill. This bill was signed into law on September 29, 2014. Like all new laws, CALA will notify members of the bill’s implementation.
AB 2632 (Maienschein) DSS criminal background checks
CALA supports this bill that requires employees of all CCLD licensure categories, including RCFEs, to have arrests for non-exemptible crimes investigated before being granted a clearance. AB 2632 was signed into law on September 29, 2014. Like all new laws, CALA will notify members of the bill’s implementation.
SB 895 (Corbett) Remedy of deficiencies and inspection reports
The most recent amendments to SB 895 require RCFEs to remedy deficiencies within 10 days of notification from the department, unless extended in the plan of correction. This bill also requires the department to post information on its website on how to obtain inspection reports and would state that it’s the intent of the Legislature to make licensing reports available online by January 1, 2020. This bill specifies actions CCLD would be required to take during a license revocation or temporary suspension. Further, SB 895 requires the department to design a poster containing information on “the appropriate reporting agency in case of complaint or emergency” – this will need to be posted in the main entry of the RCFE. Per the bill author’s clarification letter to the Senate Daily Journal, which was sent at CALA’s urging, the meaning of “entryway” is to be interpreted (namely by providers and the department) as a “conspicuous place that is accessible to residents, families and staff.” Our final position on the bill was neutral as the new provisions could still use some fine-tuning. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will notify our members of the bill’s implementation.
SB 911 (Block) 911 calls, RCFE staff training
CALA worked closely with committee consultants and Senator Block’s office to resolve differences in training requirements between SB 911 and AB 1570, which is co-sponsored by CALA, LeadingAge California and the California Council of the Alzheimer’s Association. In turn, SB 911 was amended to address 911 calls, administrator training and certification, staff medication training, and training related to postural supports, restricted conditions, and hospice. The most recent amendments made the provisions of SB 911 complementary to those of AB 1570. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will notify our members of this bill’s implementation.
SB 1153 (Leno) Suspension on new admissions
This bill provides CCLD with authority to ban new admissions to an RCFE under certain circumstances, including: 1) when an RCFE has failed to pay a fine assessed by the department after the facility’s appeal rights have been exhausted or if the department finds that the facility has violated laws; or 2) regulations and the violation presents a direct or immediate risk to the health, safety, or personal rights of a resident or residents and is not corrected immediately. SB 1153 was signed into law by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will notify our members of the bill’s implementation. CALA supports this bill as it will create a powerful new enforcement tool similar to those used in other states.
SB 1382 (Block) Licensing Fees
This bill will increase RCFE licensing fees by 20%. The most recent amendments to the bill changed the previous intent language for the department to increase licensing inspections to more general language. CALA supported higher licensing fees to pay for the much needed increase in the frequency of inspections. However, our position was changed to neutral due to the general language that does not specify intent to increase inspections. This bill was signed by the Governor on September 28, 2014. Like all new laws, we will notify our members of the bill’s implementation.
AB 1436 (Waldron) Online licensing reports
This bill to require online licensing reports died in Assembly Appropriations Suspense on Friday, May 23. The bill also would have required any deficiency that is dismissed upon appeal to be removed immediately. Access to accurate and timely information is valuable to consumers and information should be accessible online.
AB 1454 (Calderon) Annual inspections for all CCLD licensees
CALA strongly supported this bill that calls for annual licensing inspections of facilities under all CCLD licensure categories. This bill died on Suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 14, 2014. As increasing licensing inspections is a top priority for Assemblymember Calderon, he promises to author new bills on the issue every year until it passes.
AB 1554 (Skinner) CCLD complaint investigations in RCFEs
Support as Proposed to be Amended
This bill would have changed the way the department investigates complaints about RCFEs and requires tighter deadlines for departmental action.
AB 1571 (Eggman) Licensure and Online Disclosure
Support if amended
This bill, which would have required an online rating system for RCFEs, died on Suspense in the Senate Human Services Committee on August 14, 2014. Amendments adopted in the Senate Human Services Committee reflected the information the department recently made available online to search RCFEs. CALA worked closely with the author’s office on our position that online information should be accurate, timely, and easily understandable.
AB 2162 (Fox) Fire Sprinklers in 6 bed RCFEs
CALA supported this bill that would have required fire sprinklers in RCFEs licensed for six or fewer residents. All larger RCFEs are already required to have these life-saving devices.
SB 894 (Corbett) RCFE closure process
This bill specified actions that CCLD would be required to take during a license revocation or temporary suspension; these changes were intended to prevent a reoccurrence of the mismanaged closure of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley. Although supportive of these changes, CALA had a neutral position on the bill due to the limited private right of action language. This bill was never brought up for a vote on the Senate Floor and some of its provisions were absorbed into SB 895 (Corbett).