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.
There are precedents in California for website publishing of individuals who have had administrative actions taken against them including the Medical Board of California, the Board of Registered Nursing, the Medi-Cal Suspended and Ineligible Provider List, the California State Bar, and the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. This proposed legislation will provide similar transparency to consumers and family members already available to Californians for physicians, nurses, other healthcare providers, attorneys and contractors who have breached the public trust, the professional code of conduct, and the licensing agency’s regulations.
Assembly Member Cheryl R. Brown representing California’s 47th Assembly District, is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, and senior care issues are among her highest priorities. She was recently honored with The Capitol Caregiver Award by AARP. By introducing CARR’s EPAAL bill, Brown continues her demonstrated commitment to families of vulnerable elders: EPAAL will allow families to check the list before hiring a caregiver or other care provider, to assure the caregiver is not an Excluded Person, and has not been banned by Department of Social Services from working in a licensed care facility.
During the 2014-15 legislative session, CARR was sole sponsor of AB 1523 (Atkins) signed into law in August 2014, requiring all residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) to carry liability insurance. Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving resident care in assisted living facilities by educating consumers and increasing industry accountability.