Licensing Update

Liability insurance companies increasing premiums

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

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Legislative and Licensing Updates

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. This state funding is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented adults. The California Department of Social Services selected twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 in assistance per household.

As of May 17, there were 78,839 COVID-19 cases in California. The number of resulting deaths were 3,261 or 4%. The number of US cases was 1,532,297 and associated deaths were 91,077. The death rate in California is nearly 2% lower than the US. Globally, the number of deaths is nearly 7%.

The state legislature is proposing to create an SSI Task Force (SB1259) to make recommendations on how to meet the housing and care needs of SSI/SSP beneficiaries and how to build capacity of placements for SSI recipients.

Another emergency disaster bill is being proposed to add Health and Safety Code 1569.694 (AB1855). It proposes to involve three state agencies—Office of Emergency Services, Department of Technology and DSS—to develop an online emergency management database and require facilities to upload disaster plans to the database by July 1, 2023. The premise is emergency responders will check the database to get critical information when responding to facility emergencies. Yes, seriously. It will be a crime if a facility neglects to upload and update its plan. More practically, it will allow DSS to check disaster plans electronically rather than in person “conserving departmental resources.”

SB1068 will emphatically mandate all RCFEs call 911 “if an injury or other circumstances results in an imminent threat to a resident’s health” (except if a client is on hospice). This is already required, but the legislature believes RCFEs are failing to appropriately call 911.

SB345 and AB2926 are attempting to reform placement agencies. The first bill will make it a misdemeanor if an agency places an inappropriate resident (client needs a skilled facility), and the latter bill attempts numerous reforms upon referral agencies, i.e. written disclosures of charges to the facility, a time to cease contacting the resident or resident families, obtain liability insurance, and criminal background checks.

AB3313 will mandate facility staff receive training in state, federal and local labor codes including minimum wage, payment provisions, overtime, etc.

AB3138 will allow residents to have “electronic monitoring” in their rooms and other areas in a facility under specific conditions. These are placed in the client rooms by the clients, not the facility. The facility must be notified of the monitoring device (privacy issues); roommate consent, if a shared room; posted signs alerting others to the device; the facility would have to notify DSS of the camera or device; the resident would have to store any recordings for up to 365 days and give DSS access to the recordings.

AB 447 would finally allow facilities under the same ownership or licensure to associate employees with all of those facilities without having to do multiple transfers.

SB 661 will create another study of long-term care and the growing need of that care in California. The state believes one in seven Californians are 65 and older, and in 20 years, the number will increase, especially among those 85 and older. Those seniors are expected to have three or more chronic conditions. The legislature also believes 10% of Californians 65 and older will have cognitive deficits. The overall intent of the bill, it appears, is to expand the In-Home Support Services program to pay the nearly 7 million persons providing some care to a loved one in a private setting.