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2015 California Legislation


CANHR is sponsoring or co-sponsoring the following bills for the 2015 legislative session. We are also seeking changes to the Governor's proposed budget that would tie increased Medi-Cal payments to nursing homes to increased staffing requirements.

Support our advocacy -- write a letter to your legislator today! Click on the fact sheets below to find sample letters of support.

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SB 33 (Hernandez): Medi-Cal Recovery Reform
This bill would limit Medi-Cal recovery for those who are 55+ years of age to only what is required by federal law and eliminate optional recovery for other services; eliminate recovery on surviving spouses’ estates; provide an exemption for homesteads of modest value; and require the Department to provide claims detail information free of charge to current or former Medi-Cal beneficiaries and to post how to obtain this information on its website. Co-sponsored with Western Center on Law and Poverty, SB 33 is similar to SB 1124, which had unanimous bipartisan support, passing the Assembly Floor by 78-0 and the Senate Floor by 33-0, but was vetoed by Governor Brown. There is hope that this year his administration can be persuaded that forcing low-income citizens to sell their family homes or pay back Medi-Cal claims at 7% interest destabilizes low income communities and is simply poor public policy.
Status:  SB 33 will be heard in the Senate Health Committee on March 25.  Letters of support should be sent to Senator Ed Hernandez, Chair, Senate Health Committee, Room 2191, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via FAX:  (916) 266-9438
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AB 348 (Brown): Timely Investigation of Nursing Home Complaints
This bill would require the California Department of Public Health to complete investigations of nursing home complaints within 40 working days of receipt, with certain exceptions. It would also require the Department to provide complainants a written summary of its findings, investigate complaints self-reported by nursing homes within the same timeframes as public complaints, and extend the number of days a complainant has to appeal complaint findings.
Status: AB 348 will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on April 7. Letters of support should be sent to Rob Bonta, Chair, Assembly Health Committee, State Capitol, Room 6005, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via FAX: (916) 319-2197.
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AB 601 (Eggman): Suitability of Ownership/Ownership Disclosure for RCFEs
The Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing, is often unaware of other facilities owned and operated by the same licensee or whether the proposed licensee has a prior record of substandard care.  This bill would establish specific suitability of ownership criteria and require applicants for a residential care facility for the elderly license to disclose complete ownership information, including disclosure of any person(s) who holds a 10% or more beneficial interest in the facility and all related entities.
Status:  AB 601 will be heard in Assembly Human Services in April on a date to be determined. Letters of support should be sent to Kansen Chu, Chair, Assembly Human Services Committee, 1020 N Street, Room 124 or via FAX: (916) 319-2189.
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AB 927 (McCarty): The Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure Act of 2015
This bill responds to the November 2014 Sacramento Bee three-part series on nursing home ownership in California that examined the dominant role of nursing home chains in California, the troubled history and poor performance of some of these chains, and the Department of Public Health’s failure to protect the public from operators who put profit before care. AB 927 would revise California laws governing acquisition of nursing homes, strengthen suitability requirements for operators, and improve public disclosure on nursing home ownership. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is co-sponsoring AB 927.
Status: AB 927 will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on April 7. Letters of support should be sent to Rob Bonta, Chair, Assembly Health Committee, State Capitol, Room 6005, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via FAX: (916) 319-2197.
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Budget Issues of Concern in 2015

AB 1629 Extension via Budget Trailer Language
The Governor proposes to extend the Medi-Cal rate system for skilled nursing facilities – known as AB 1629 – through FY 2019-20 with compounded increases of 3.62 percent each year. Under the proposed five year extension, California’s annual Medi-Cal payments to skilled nursing facilities would grow to more than $5 billion by FY 2019-20, a near doubling of the Medi-Cal rates paid to skilled nursing facilities in 2004 when the AB 1629 rate system was first enacted. In contrast, the minimum staffing levels for skilled nursing facilities have not been adjusted since 2000 and remain at 3.2 nursing hours per resident per day, a standard that was considered inadequate when it was enacted more than 15 years ago. Today, this standard is dangerously deficient. CANHR opposes extending the AB 1629 rate system unless it is accompanied by annual increases to California’s minimum staffing requirements that raise the minimum staffing requirement to at least 4.1 nursing hours per resident per day by FY 2019-20. A copy of CANHR’s recommendations is available upon request.
Status: This budget proposal will next be heard in the Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services on April 23. Letters of concern should be sent to Senator Holly Mitchell, Chair, Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services, State Capitol, Room 5019, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via FAX: (916) 668-7004.
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For details on specific bills, go to:  www.leginfo.ca.gov


 

Page Last Modified: March 24, 2015