Licensing Update

It appears RCFE insurance companies will increase premiums 30%

Looking for a competitive bid or help with your liability and/or worker’s compensation insurance? Contact our insurance guru, Willy Halle, an RCFE administrator, to see if he can help with costs or coverage: (760) 835-1884.

Legislative and Licensing Updates

It appears from the “shelving of recent bills” and the Legislature’s behavior, enacting legislation to hold referral agencies accountable for practices is not going to happen. Such is the case for SB345 from State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). Analysis of the bill found weakened provisions about referral agency employees making inappropriate resident referrals of inappropriate residents to facilities.

Also appearing to be “dead on arrival” is AB1034 by Assembly Member Laura Friedman (D-Burbank). The bill would require every type of licensed facility to have an emergency disaster plan, but as of May 16, the bill is basically dead. Only RCFEs have to have an extensive disaster plan.

Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) is seeking to expand the state’s assisted living waiver program, but the deadline appears to have passed. The program has not been successful. There are approximately 325 residential care facilities accepting Medi-Cal, yet the current list has facilities closed or in the midst of closure. The eligible facilities include ARFs as the minimum age is 21. There are 58 counties in California, but only 15—Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Sonoma—are eligible to admit low-income, Medi-Cal eligible residents. According to the California Department of Health Care Services, there have been 7,295,363 applications for eligibility, but the state is only seeking funding for roughly 19,000 recipients. There are less than 6,000 individuals on the program now. The bill would require “tiers” of reimbursement increased to compensate providers for expenses related to minimum wage.

SB661, proposed by State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield), is intended to enact legislation to address the growing need for long-term care for seniors and individuals with disabilities in California. It has not progressed since March but is still active. This is pending legislation “to address the need for long-term care for seniors.” Then what?

SB172, State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-San Fernando), would enact the “Keep Our Seniors Safe Act.” It would require DSS to author and enforce regulations prescribing the procedures for a firearm and ammunition to be centrally stored in a locked gun safe within a facility “that permits residents to possess firearms on its premises.” Did you get that? Are there facilities allowing residents to bring a firearm into the facility? They can if the weapons are “centrally stored.” The facility would have to prepare and maintain an individual “weapons inventory for each firearm and type of ammunition stored within the facility and submit the inventories to the Department of Justice.” The author believes this would reduce senior suicides.

State Senator Ben Hueso’s (D-Chula Vista) SB305, “Access to Cannabis in Healthcare Facilities” would require a health care facility to permit a terminally ill patient to use medical cannabis within the health care facility and require a health care facility to permit a terminally ill patient to use medical cannabis within the health care facility, but not to smoke or vape it. A health care facility would be able to restrict the manner in which a patient stores and uses medical cannabis to ensure the safety of other patients, guests, and employees of the facility. Permits a health care facility to suspend compliance with the provisions of this bill if a federal regulatory  agency, the US Department of Justice, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiates enforcement action against a health care facility related to the facility’s compliance with a state-regulated medical marijuana  program. However, those individuals who are currently suffering in a hospital facility due to the harrowing pain of cancer or another life-threatening illness  are unable to have access to the benefits of this medication. “This is a simple  yet critical step, which will have an abundance of benefits to ensure access to compassion and pain management for the most vulnerable Californians.