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New Laws for RCFE Admission Agreements

As we reported in the Fall 2003 issue of the Advocate, SB 211 (Dunn—Santa Ana) was signed by the Governor and creates new protections for thousands of elders in California’s Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). Effective January 1, 2004, SB 211 will be implemented, which means the following:

Posting of Admission Agreements:

Every RCFE must conspicuously post a complete copy of the admission agreement or a notice of its availability. Facilities must also provide a copy of the agreement to any prospective resident or resident’s representative upon request.

The Admission Agreement Shall Include:

  • A description of all items and services included in the basic rate.
  • Descriptions and fee schedules for all services provided that are not included in the basic rate.
  • A facility can only assess a separate charge for an item or service if it is already included in the admission agreement. If new items and services are made available after the admission agreement is signed, a list of the new items or services must be provided to the resident or the resident’s representative, and it must be signed if any of the items or services will be provided to the resident.
  • A list of third party services related to the resident’s service plan and acknowledgement of who is financially responsible for the third-party services.
  • Billing and payment policies
  • Conditions for rate increases
  • Visitors policy
  • Refund policy
  • Conditions for termination of the agreement
  • Notice that the procedure for filing complaints against the facility will be provided upon request and notification of the right to file a complaint against the facility with the Department of Social Services and/or the Long Term Care Ombudsman.
  • Eviction criteria exactly as it worded in applicable law or regulation, notice requirements and information about how to appeal an eviction action or involuntary transfer.
  • A copy of residents’ rights specified by law or regulation.

How will DSS know if a facility’s admission agreement is in compliance with the new laws?

As you can imagine, with a drastic decrease in RCFE compliance investigations, there will be fewer opportunities for the Department of Social Services to review things like the admission agreement. However, the admission agreement will be reviewed if DSS receives a complaint regarding any aspect of the agreement. This means that it will be very important for residents and family members to address any concerns they have about unlawful provisions and practices pertaining to their admission agreements with DSS.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family member’s admission agreement, please call CANHR at 1-800-474-1116.

You can find the current statutes regarding RCFE admission agreements in the Health and Safety Code §1569.651, 1569.655, and 1569.880 through 1569.888 ( You can also find the Title 22 Regulations for RCFEs at