Legislative Update

AB 1437 (Patterson) CBC associations and six-bed license – Support

This bill would allow for a streamlined process to associate employees with multiple communities, saving licensees and CCLD staff a significant amount of time and paperwork. It would also clean up a requirement that has six-bed licensees repeating the administrator certification course when applying for a new license more than five years after their most recent license. Despite passing the Legislature with strong bipartisan support, AB 1437 has been made a two-year bill due to CCLD concerns that it would be unable to locate cleared workers in a timely way. CALA will continue to work with 6beds.org during the interim in support of this bill.

SB 219 (Wiener) LGBT rights – Governor Signs LGBT Resident Rights Bill!

CALA-supported SB 219 was signed by the Governor earlier this week and will take effect on January 1, 2018. CALA has long supported warm, welcoming environments for all our seniors and is pleased to have been able to work with Senator Scott Wiener (D-SF) and Equality California on this bill to clarify LGBT resident rights. Working collaboratively with Senator Wiener, CALA was able to secure amendments that deleted a new private right of action, and added important clarifications around definitions, confidentiality, and other operational considerations. These changes enabled us to support the bill. We are preparing detailed compliance information for members and will discuss this in more detail during the Fall Conference & Trade Show.

SB 294 (Hernandez) Hospices: palliative care – Signed

Governor Brown signed this CALA-supported bill that will allow a licensed hospice to provide services, including palliative care, to a patient with a serious illness even if the patient continues to receive curative treatment. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018, until January 1, 2022, when it will sunset. The Department of Public Health will be gathering data from providers each year while it is in effect and will be convening a stakeholder meeting on or before June 1, 2021, meeting to discuss the results of the information collected.

SB 648 (Mendoza) Referral agencies – Oppose unless amended

This bill was held in Senate Appropriations and is effectively dead for the year. The bill is intended to provide disclosure, transparency, and oversight for RCFE referral agencies. However the author recently removed the provision that would have required the referral agency to let consumers know how they get paid, whether they only refer to communities that they have a contract with, or if they’ve ever visited the facilities they’re referring to. Instead, the bill would have required RCFEs to have residents sign a disclosure form at move-in or face a fine. CALA advocated for up-front disclosure by the referral agency. DSS also had questions regarding much of the proposal. While the bill is done for the year, the issue will be back.

AB 713 (Chu) CCRC transfers – Signed

This bill would require CCRCs to use an assessment tool when determining whether a resident needs to transfer within the community to a higher level of care and it would require the Continuing Care Contracts Branch to review a disputed transfer and determine if the transfer was appropriate and necessary. CALA’s CCRC Subcommittee closely watched this bill. DSS is expected to release an implementation plan shortly.

AB 853 (Choi) CCRC pooling contracts – Watch

This bill would authorize CCRC “pooling” contracts where entrance fee repayment is contingent upon resale of the next unit, rather than the resident’s specific unit. It would also make changes to the timing of construction approvals and use of surety bonds to satisfy liquid reserve obligations. This bill has not been heard in committee and is now a “two-year bill” meaning it won’t be considered until next year, if at all. CALA’s CCRC Subcommittee is watching this bill.

AB 859 (Eggman) Lower standard of proof for elder abuse – VETOED

CALA was part of a successful effort to defeat a bill that would have lowered the standard of proof in elder abuse cases when a judge has found intentional destruction of evidence (“spoliation”). In his veto message, Governor Brown writes, “Currently, when judges find spoliation, they have numerous sanctions at their disposal which they can impose against an offending party… Accordingly, I don’t believe changing the standard of proof is warranted.” This was our primary argument in opposition to the bill and the Governor agreed. Additionally, this bill would have harmed all providers, not just the “bad actors,” by incentivizing lawyers to allege spoliation in all elder abuse cases in an effort to lower the standard of proof and get enhanced damages and attorney fees. Providers would have faced significant additional costs of fighting those frivolous claims.

Thank you to the many CALA members who wrote letters in support of SB 219 and opposing AB 859…your voice was heard!

SB 449 (Monning) CNA dementia training – Signed

The governor has signed this CALA-supported, Alzheimer’s Association-sponsored bill, which requires two hours of training specific to dementia care be included as part of the 60 hours of training for certified nurse assistants (CNAs). CNAs working in RCFEs are already required to have twelve initial hours of dementia-specific training and eight hours annually. This new legislation is a start on providing better training for a profession that is a very important part of the long-term care delivery system.

Read about how recent legislation affects RCFEs and DSS, and visit our visit our Advocacy History page to see our legislative priorities from previous years.