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RCFE Closures: Residents’ Rights and Protections
The RCFE Relocation Protection Act of 2008 and subsequent legislation established relocation rights and protections for residents evicted when RCFEs close due to the sale of the business for different uses, and forfeiture of the RCFE license resulting from the sale of the property, surrender of the license or abandonment of the facility. (Note: This law does not apply when the facility is being sold or transferred, and will continue to be used as a RCFE.) The protections are designed to minimize transfer trauma, ensure that residents are transferred safely, reduce some of the financial hardships, and provide oversight of the process by the licensing agency, Community Care Licensing.
Note, effective January 1, 2015, any operator whose license has been revoked or forfeited for abandoning a facility and its residents will be permanently ineligible for reinstatement of a license.
Written Notice and Documentation Requirements
The facility must provide a 60-day written notice. This notice must be delivered to the resident, to his/her agent or legal representative, and to Community Care Licensing. When closures affect 7 or more residents, the notice cannot be issued until the facility submits a closure plan, and it is approved by the licensing agency. The notice must contain the following elements:
The facility shall not accept new residents or enter into new admission agreements after it has issued the written notice of eviction.
Based on the current service plan, the facility is responsible to prepare a relocation evaluation for each resident including recommendations on the type of facility that would meet the needs of the resident; and a listing of facilities, within a 60-mile radius of the closing facility, that meet the resident’s needs.
In addition, the facility must meet with the resident and his/her legal representative to discuss the relocation evaluation within 30 days of issuing the eviction notice.
If 7 or more residents will be relocated due to the closure, the facility must prepare and submit a closure plan to Community Care Licensing for approval. The plan must indicate that there is a relocation evaluation for each resident, and indicate the staff available to assist in the transfers. The facility is prohibited from issuing the 60-day notices or requiring any resident to transfer until approval is granted by licensing.
Upon approval by licensing, the facility must send a copy of the closure plan to the local Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.
After submitting the closure plan, the facility is prohibited from admitting new residents and entering in admission agreements with new residents.
Rights of Residents
In addition to the right to a 60-day notice, relocation evaluation, meeting with staff on the evaluation, closure plan approval by licensing when 7 or more residents are affected, and to file a complaint with licensing, the resident also has the following rights:
In addition to the rights outlined above, there are also these protections:
The most relevant laws are found in California Health and Safety Code Sections 1569.16, 1569.481, 1569.50, 1569.651(i), 1569.682, 1569.884, and 1569.886. The codes and regulations dealing with evictions are also pertinent: California Health and Safety Code Sections 1569.37, 1569.54, 1569.655, 1569.683, 1569.686, and 1569.73; California Civil Code Section 1940; and California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Sections 87223, 87224, 87612 and 87637.
Page Last Modified: March 2, 2020