September 29, 2014
RCFE Reform Act of 2014 Bills Signed into Law!
Contact: Pat McGinnis, CANHR
Sacramento––Governor Brown has signed a number of bills aimed at increasing protections for residents of California’s 7.500+ Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs).
As of Sunday, September 28, the Governor has signed a total of ten (10) bills that were part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014. The RCFE Reform Act of 2014 was introduced in response to several scathing investigative reports about the failures in oversight and enforcement regarding California’s Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, and the scandal at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley, where 19 elderly residents were abandoned by the care home’s owner/licensee. The reform bills focused on improving RCFE care, empowering residents, and providing DSS with some new tools to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
Three important bills, AB 1554 (Skinner), AB 1571 (Eggman) and SB 894 (Corbett), that would have expedited complaint investigations, created an on-line RCFE consumer information system and mandated annual inspections of RCFEs respectively, did not make it through the legislative process dues to costs. However, these laws are still sorely needed if there is ever to be true RCFE reform in California, and we will continue to advocate for their passage in future bills.
While much work remains to improve RCFE care and oversight, both in implementing the RCFE Reform Act bills and in addressing the remaining policy shortfalls, CANHR is extremely grateful to the individual legislators who authored the bills and to their staff for their unrelenting advocacy. The enactment of key parts of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014 is a victory for California’s long term care system and for RCFE residents.
The following RCFE Reform Act bills have been signed into law:
SB 895 (Corbett): Requires RCFE deficiencies to be corrected within 10 days.
SB 911 (Block): Increases administrator and staff training in RCFEs
SB 1153 (Leno): Provides a ban on new admissions for out of compliance RCFEs
SB 1382 (Block): Increases RCFE annual fees by 20%
AB 1523 (Atkins): Requires all RCFEs to carry liability insurance
AB 1572 (Eggman): Increases rights of Resident and Family Councils
AB 1899 (Brown): Prohibits reinstatement of license when licensee abandons residents
AB 2044 (Rodriguez): Requires administrator on sight 24/7 and increased staff training
AB 2171 (Wieckowski): Creates statutory Resident Bill of Rights
AB 2236 (Mainschein and Stone): Increases the penalties for abuse violations and violations that result in death.
According to Pat McGinnis, Executive Director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, “These laws cannot right the wrongs that were committed against so many RCFE residents over the past years, but they do provide the Department with some better enforcement tools, provide for basic statutory resident rights and provide a path forward to ensure that protecting the health and safety of RCFE residents is a priority.”
CANHR is a statewide nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy organization. CANHR’s mission is to improve the choices, care, and quality of life for California’s long-term care consumers. CANHR released a white paper on RCFE issues in October 2013, “Residential Care in California: Unsafe, Unregulated & Unaccountable,” with recommendations that led to the RCFE Reform Act of 2014. For a copy of the white paper: http://www.canhr.org/reports/Residential_Care_in_California.pdf
For fact sheets or more information on specific bills, go to:
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California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR)
650 Harrison Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107