Straight Talk

WE NEED SUPPORT LETTERS for AB 1122 (Brown) - Publish an Excluded Persons & Administrative Action List (EPAAL)

You can already verify if your doctor, veterinarian, attorney and hairdresser have breached the public trust and violated licensing regulations via publicly available lists.  CARR would like to see the same transparency provided for consumers of long-term care services.  EPAAL will do just that.  But, CARR cannot be the only voice.  We need your help and support to get AB 1122 passed.  

To make it easy, CARR has drafted a support letter for you to use as is, or to modify to reflect concerns.  Since AB 1122 will be heard in two committees, we need two letters of support from you.  (Please note that using your letterhead improves the visibility of your support.)

Since the process is somewhat time consuming, CARR is willing to submit signed letters on your behalf.  Simply print out the letters on your letterhead, sign and email to rcfereform@gmail.com or snail mail to us at P.O. Box 82123, San Diego, CA 92138.

Letter as PDF to the Assembly Human Services Committee.  Letter as .doc file.

Castro Valley RCFE Principals Criminally Charged

On 2 March 2015, Kamala D Harris, Attorney General of California signed an Amended Felony Complaint containing 14 counts each of Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse against Valley Springs Manor RCFE Licensee Herminigilda Noveda Manuel, and the facility's Administrator, Edgar Babael. In October 2013, these individuals abandoned the Valley Spring Manor, leaving 14 medically needy and some bedridden residents to fend for themselves.  

According to reports at the time, the licensing agency, Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) issued a Temporary Suspension Order (TSO) against the facility, a move which required the licensee to immediately relocate the residents.  Rather than relocate the 14 residents, Manuel and Babael abandoned the facility, leaving two facility employees to care for these individuals; help arrived several days later when they contacted 9-1-1 advising of the dire conditions.   

CARR Sole Sponser AB 1122 - Publish California's Excluded Persons/Administrative Action List (EPAAL)

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. 

There is no mandatory requirement for DSS/CCL to refer elder neglect, abuse or other egregious behaviors perpetrated against seniors residing in assisted living facilities to outside law enforcement, therefore few crimes perpetrated against elders in licensed care facilities are ever prosecuted.  Instead, through Administrative Law proceedings, DSS/CCL can permanently or temporarily prohibit a person from working in a licensed care facility.  Yet, because the individual was never brought to justice through the criminal court system, the administrative sanction does not appear in criminal background checks.  This makes continued access to vulnerable populations easy and significantly elevates the need for DSS/CCL to publish its list of excluded persons and related administrative actions.

Centralized CCL Complaint Hotline

Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division (DSS/CCLD) launched its new centralized complaint hotline this past week. The hotline's objective is to streamline the complaint process for consumers, and to assure information about complaints is consistently collected across all complaint report types.  Once a complaint is filed through the central call office, it is reviewed by a field-seasoned CCL inspector; within a few hours after the complaint has been reported, it is directed to the appropriate regional field office for investigation.  Once in the regional office, the agency must initiate its investigation within the 10-day regulatory time frame. 

The 8-4-4 number is toll free, so there is now one less impediment to filing a complaint - you don't have to pay for the call.  If its easier to email a complaint, the CCLD's new poster gives you the address:  LetUsNo@dss.ca.gov.  CARR encourages all family members, visitors in assisted living facilities, and reminds all mandated reporters to immediately report any event or circumstance endangering the health and safety of residents of assisted living facilities.  As the poster says. . . If you SEE something, SAY something.  

JD and Volunteer Intern, Eugene Willis, Jr., Shares File Review Experience

CARR co-founders can tell you what a terrific experience our internship program offers; but, it is more illustrative to hear from our actual interns.  Eugene Willis, Jr. connected with us via Linkedin this past fall and volunteered to do file surveillance for CARR on RCFEs in Nevada County.  Read on to learn more about Eugene's goals and discoveries: 

Volunteer Internship Experience with CARR Fall 2014, Nevada County File Review

This letter is to share my recent experience reviewing Nevada County RCFE files on behalf of Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR).   At the outset of this letter, I would like to thank Chris Murphy for the opportunity to join this outstanding organization and also the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division “DSS/CCLD” for their assistance in completing the file review.  The primary reasons I voluntarily participated in CARR’s internship program were to enhance my personal knowledge, as well as promote transparency and dissemination of material issues related to California’s RCFE industry.  RCFE residents are sometimes forgotten.  I completed law school specifically to give a voice to those who are forgotten.

The First Amendment Coalition Selects CARR as 2014 Free Speech & Open Government Awardee

C. Selder, Peter Scheer (ED, FAC), C. MurphyOut of 30 nominations nationwide, CARR and Sacramento Bee investigative reporter, Charles Pillar, were selected as this year's FAC's Free Speech & Open Government Awardees.  

This was the first year the First Amendment Coalition selected a 501(c) 3 advocacy organization for the award. Traditionally, the award is given to journalists recognizing their work in promoting government transparency for the public good.  CARR was selected unanimously for "demonstrating the effectiveness of advocacy using government data and the internet". CARR is pleased to have its work recognized by this award-winning organization and to be so closely affiliated with others "dedicated to advancing free speech, more open and accountable government and public participation in civic affairs".

Use CARR's "Facility Snapshots"* To Narrow Your Facility Search

Long-term care options require extensive research, research that few consumers have the time to do, especially when an immediate need occurs.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides consumers with decipherable icons and easy access to compliance histories for skilled nursing facilities; however, this type of data is still not provided for consumers of assisted living services.  CARR was founded in 2009 to begin to fill this void and is currently the only public charity in California providing consumers unbiased, online access to the compliance histories for assisted living facilities.

But....poring over individual public documents is quite time-consuming (we should know) and, to the untrained eye, may provide limited assistance when attempting to initially narrow down a facility search.  To ease this burden for the consumer, CARR has partnered with San Diego County’s Aging and Independence Services, to provide "Facility Snapshots"* on the assisted living facilities in the region.  (AIS-sponsored Facility Snapshot's are denoted on our site by this green icon). 

Governor Brown Signs 10 RCFE Bills

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.

The Governor signed the following bills today: 

* AB 1570 by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata): Increases training requirements for licensees and direct care staff of residential care facilities for the elderly.

* AB 1751 by Assemblymember Richard H. Bloom (D-Santa Monica): Requires resident representation on governing boards of residential care facilities for the elderly and quarterly reporting of financial statements.

* AB 1899 by Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino): Prohibits the reinstatement of a license for licensees of residential care facilities for the elderly who abandon a facility, resulting in a threat to the residents’ health and safety.

* AB 2044 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona): Enacts additional staffing and health and safety requirements at residential care facilities for the elderly.

September 8th - National Grandparents Day!

My grandparents and great grandparents were instrumental in my appreciation for all life has to offer...on an ongoing basis.  In many ways, CARR began when I was between four and seven.  My (great) grandparents were chicken and sugarcane farmers well into their 60s and 70s.  I was fascinated by how they consistently adapted to changes brought in from outside influences while still maintaining their perfected way of doing things.  And, when their physical bodies began to fail them, their desire to remain engaged and to continue to participate in all they loved (including me) made a big impression.

As a mother of three, I want my kiddos to grow up with the same mindset that age is nothing but a number and adaptation is the name of the game.  To that end, I researched extensively the representation of older adults and aging in children's literature and created a book for little minds to be able to understand and embrace the realities of aging.

I invite you to purchase one of these books for the children in your life in honor of Grandparents Day.  With so much media attention on "The Silver Tsunami" and in an era of photoshop and anti-aging products, the beauty of living a long life can be lost.  All proceeds benefit CARR's advocacy work.  Please contact us at rcfereformorg@gmail.com or (619) 795-2165.

Cheers to the older adult in all of us! 

Warmly,

Chrisy

 

Need A Crash Course in Assisted Living 101? Watch Our Webinar.

CARR was recently invited to share what we know about California's assisted living industry by the Caregiver Coalition.  The Caregiver Coalition of San Diego offers a series of webinars focused on topics relevant to those caring for an aging relative and professionals in the field of aging.

You can now access valuable information about assisted living in California and making an informed placement decision anywhere you can access the internet at a time convenient for you.

To access the webinar click here and search under Webinar Registration.  If after watching you would like more detailed information or would like to share this information with friends, CARR is happy to present to any size audience any of our presentations