CARR's Legislation and Reform articles keep consumers and interested professionals apprised of trending issues in the both the legislation and reform arenas.
CARR extends our warmest congratulations to our Board of Director's member, Dr. Joaquin Anguera, for his recent appointment by Governor Brown to the California Commission on Aging. CARR has had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Anguera for the past 7 years and knows firsthand how beneficial Dr. Anguera's experience and perspective will be to California's senior community.
A CARR core value is advocacy for stricter regulations, and tighter enforcement of existing California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 8 for the sole purposes of raising the bar for resident quality-of-care, assuring the resident receives the basic human rights of a safe, clean, and dignified living environment, and enhancing the quality-of-life for residents of assisted living facilities.
A related principle is to educate the consumer on how to select a facility for a family member, what to expect from the facility once the family member is a resident, and what about the system isn't working for the resident or the consumer. Therefore, CARR will post three types of information to help consumers educate themselves about the regulation and enforcement of Title 22, and specifically how regulation and enforcement affect the quality of care received by the resident.
CARR-sponsored AB 1523, requiring all assisted living facilities in California to carry liability insurance, went into effect 7/1/15. This legislation, co-authored by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Assembly Member Shirley Weber, closed a 30 year old regulatory gap.
Prior to its passing in August 2015, CARR's research found that approximately 87% of San Diego RCFEs elected to not carry liability insurance, despite caring for frail, dependent seniors. CARR believes this marks a major step forward for consumer protections inside assisted living facilities. CARR encourages seniors and their families to ask for proof of liability insurance when considering a facility for placement.
Update: 2/15/2016. Assembly Member Brown declined, for unknown and unclear reasons, to continue to carry this bill during the 2016 - 17 legislative session. The bill is officially dead.
CARR renewed discussions with Assembly Member Brown's office to enhance the proposed legislative text for AB1122. We will be rolling out our legislative information campaign in November 2015 to familiarize legislators on key committees with the bill and its value to consumers. We will be educating legislators on the need for a statutory remedy that allows consumers to do an on-line check to assure the person they were hiring as a caregiver was not a person who had received a lifetime ban from Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing.
Assembly Member Cheryl R. Brown (D - San Bernardino) introduced the “Excluded Persons Administrative Action List,” or ‘EPAAL’ legislation on Friday 27 February 2015. AB 1122 as it is now known, will require the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) to publish on its website a list of all persons who have been excluded from owning, operating and/or working inside any licensed care facility as a result of an Administrative Law proceeding.
AB 1122 will provide convenient online access to EPAAL, allowing assisted living residents, consumers and service providers to assure the caregivers and staff they hire have no prior history of behaviors which endangered the health or safety of an elder.
While this incremental reform is a step in the right direction, it is certainly not the sweeping structural changes advocates were hoping for at the beginning of the legislative session. The impact of all of these bills is now in the hands of an already over-burdened Department of Social Services, whose track record suggests limited ability to enforce compliance and to influence improved quality of care. However, this flurry of attention and activity should signal to the industry that the veil has been lifted. The writing on the wall says advocates and consumers will be demanding more.
In its report, 6Beds Inc., a group of small home providers, expressed concern that the additional cost of mandatory liability insurance will 'force small facilities to close their doors and subsequently leave seniors with reduced care options'.
As sponsor of AB 1523, CARR conducted research on the implications of mandatory liability insurance; chief among them, the issue of affordability. The results of CARR's research are shown in Table I, showing that the average monthly cost to a small, 6-bed facility is approximately $50 per month per resident.
UPDATE: 8/30/2014. It's the LAW. Signed by the Governor. Becomes effective 7/1/2015.
UPDATE: 6/14/2014. On 5/15/14 AB 1523 received the full support of the Assembly, with a vote of 77 ayes to 0 nays. The bill moved on to the Senate's Human Services Committee where it was passed through on consent. CARR is proud to have worked with Speaker Tony Atkins Office to create a common-sense piece of legislation that has received bipartisan support. AB 1523 was voted out of Assembly Appropriations Committee with unanimous support as well.
CARR recently testified before the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in support of Chairwoman Jacob and Supervisor Cox’s initiatives to improve the local RCFE industry. CARR also participated in the press conference called by Chairwoman Jacob and District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis to show our support for the creation of an elder abuse task force within the District Attorney's office. Read Chrisy and Chris' words of support:
CARR's advocates Chrisy Selder and Chris Murphy trekked to Sacramento to attend the 11 February 2014 oversight hearings called by Joint Chairs of the Human Services Committee: Senator Yee and Assemblyman Stone. The legislators heard from 13 hand-picked individuals across the spectrum of stakeholders.