What You Need to Know about the
Finances of the Owner of Your CCRC
By Lillian L. Hyatt, M.S.W. and a Resident of a CCRC
Excerpted from the Fall 2012 The CANHR Advocate newsletter
I recently requested that the Chair of the Assembly Committee of Aging in California conduct a hearing on the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing’s Continuing Care Contracts Branch, directed at why the CCRC Branch withholds financial information about the financial condition of the corporations that own and operate Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs).
Residents are the last in line after every other creditor claim is satisfied. How will residents be able to move to another facility to meet long term care needs when the contract promising life-long care is not honored? Chances are, most residents will not have the ability to come up with the lost investment for their long term care again.
When I contacted the DSS, Community Care Licensing office, I could not get any answer to my questions regarding how applicants to CCRCs and residents would be notified if the corporation owning the CCRC where they either lived or were applying for admission if the corporation were in a severe deficit position. I still need to have the answer to the question: what mechanism is in place to inform and protect a resident’s substantial investment in long term care when there are no reserves to fulfill a resident’s long term care contract? I waited all day for three days to get the answer to that question and it never came. No one returned my call even though staff repeatedly assured me that the call would be returned.
I finally got the names and phone numbers of two Financial Analysts in the CCRC Contract’s Branch and one of them tried to answer my questions but claimed someone else had worked on the audited financial report. I had to fight hard to get a phone number for these people. It was obvious to me that the information was not disclosed freely, but was disclosed only after repeated questions and persistence.
Administrators that provide long term care claim that they are over regulated. If so, why are good laws on the legislative books not being enforced? One reason is the limited funding for inspectors and reporting. As the best disinfectant is sunlight, disclosure of financial information about the corporations that own CCRCs deserves careful public scrutiny. A public hearing on these issues in the legislature is long overdue.
(Ms. Hyatt is a resident of a CCRC and AARP Policy Specialist on CCRCs)