Mike's Column

California’s assisted living industry is literally at a critical point—survive or die! The forces determining the industry’s survival or death are minimum wage increases, higher worker’s compensation premiums, liability insurance premiums and the exit of carriers from the state, increased regulations and new laws, rising cost of gasoline and utilities, ineligible employees via the sanctuary state provisions (cannot hire illegals), the push to hire nursing assistants over caregivers, the “medical model” and the push to admit prohibited conditions—I could go on. Can you stand anymore?
The licensee must face reality. The true cost of care in California is beyond the reach of many seniors. However, if the licensee is to survive, the costs of operation must be passed on to the clients. It may be that compassionate care is a thing of the past, or at least a thing that comes at a very high price.
Is anyone in Sacramento listening? Can state senators and assembly members add up the costs of care? Seniors are paying a very high price for services, and if the assisted living industry does not survive, elders in need of care will be forced into nursing homes. Nursing home care—Medi-Cal—will drain the financial resources of the state; no high-speed trains and no welfare for illegals, the state’s agenda.
Some organizations have placed trust in some senators who have betrayed, for apparent political reasons, the elder care industry. Voter pressure must be exerted upon Sacramento’s “leaders” to stop the ridiculous laws that hurt the elders and small businesses caring for elders.
There are two elections in 2018, June 5 and November 6. It is time for advocacy groups that really care about the elderly to put pressure upon elected officials running in 2018 to do something right instead of raise taxes and costs on businesses, especially the assisted living industry. Otherwise, there will be a concerted effort to remove these aloof members of the legislature.

Post date: 11/30/2016

I guess I’ve been preaching it for the 15-plus years I’ve been a vendor, but now it is even truer. During the so-called RCFE Reform Act, 1569.39 was added to state law allowing RCFEs to accept and retain “prohibited conditions,” a shock to the industry. The only condition placed upon facilities in the new law was assisting “residents with accessing home health or hospice services, as indicated in the resident’s current appraisal, to ensure that residents receive medical care as prescribed by the resident’s physician.”

DSS has not revised Title 22, but instead created an “implementation plan,” claiming Title 22 section 87616 is still enforceable which makes facilities seek an exception for prohibited conditions. The new law did not require this but DSS is bypassing the legal provisions deferring to old state regulations. The law must be upheld and not the opinions of a few state employees who write interpretations instead of updating regulations to reflect new laws. 

Post date: 09/19/2016

Many licensees are questioning their desire and motivation to remain in the residential care industry. It’s not that they can’t or don’t provide good care. Rather, it’s a combination of cumulative factors such as new laws and regulations, more demanding families, pressure to lower fees, worker’s compensation, minimum wage, inconsistent enforcement by DSS, and the list can go on and on.  I understand those struggles. I recently spoke to a licensee in the business for 29 years, and she said what many are saying, “I’m just tired.”

I’m often asked the question, “What’s the future of residential care?” It depends. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? To become an administrator today, one must take the 80-hour initial course with a 100-question exam, and to get a new facility license, if the administrator has been certified over five years, they, too, must take the 80-hour course. On the positive side, that means less competition and fewer care facilities. Do you see that as good or bad? The elder care industry can be very rewarding, but it is also very hard work. Caregiving is the most stressful job and occupation in the United States, and California is not “business friendly.” In fact it ranks last in the nation for finding qualified employees and for supporting businesses.

My hope is that those facilities that are resident-focused, provide excellent care and comply with laws and regulations weather the storm, and those who really aren’t committed to their residents leave the industry.

Post date: 10/01/2016

California’s assisted living industry is literally at a critical point—survive or die! The forces determining the industry’s survival or death are minimum wage increases, higher worker’s compensation premiums, liability insurance premiums and the exit of carriers from the state, increased regulations and new laws, rising cost of gasoline and utilities, ineligible employees via the sanctuary state provisions (cannot hire illegals), the push to hire nursing assistants over caregivers, the “medical model” and the push to admit prohibited conditions—I could go on. Can you stand anymore?
The licensee must face reality. The true cost of care in California is beyond the reach of many seniors. However, if the licensee is to survive, the costs of operation must be passed on to the clients. It may be that compassionate care is a thing of the past, or at least a thing that comes at a very high price.
Is anyone in Sacramento listening? Can state senators and assembly members add up the costs of care? Seniors are paying a very high price for services, and if the assisted living industry does not survive, elders in need of care will be forced into nursing homes. Nursing home care—Medi-Cal—will drain the financial resources of the state; no high-speed trains and no welfare for illegals, the state’s agenda.
Some organizations have placed trust in some senators who have betrayed, for apparent political reasons, the elder care industry. Voter pressure must be exerted upon Sacramento’s “leaders” to stop the ridiculous laws that hurt the elders and small businesses caring for elders.
There are two elections in 2018, June 5 and November 6. It is time for advocacy groups that really care about the elderly to put pressure upon elected officials running in 2018 to do something right instead of raise taxes and costs on businesses, especially the assisted living industry. Otherwise, there will be a concerted effort to remove these aloof members of the legislature.

Post date: 11/30/2016
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