February 2022

In this Issue

Biggest Nursing Home Bill in a Generation Heads to the State Senate

CANHR-sponsored Assembly Bill 1502 (Muratsuchi and Wood) was passed by the state Assembly on January 31 and is headed to the state Senate!  AB 1502 will end the longstanding problem of zombie nursing home licenses, where nursing homes are operated by unsuitable, unapproved, and unaccountable persons and entities while the actual licensee is long gone from the scene.  The bill is opposed by the nursing home industry and is sure to face a battle in the Senate.  Be ready for alerts about how you can help support the most important nursing home reform bill in decades.

The Progressive Magazine Features Long Term Care Facility Evictions

A cover story from The Progressive Magazine, entitled “I Want to Go Home,” tells the heartbreaking story of the illegal eviction of Elaine Benz, a 97 year-old assisted living resident in Wisconsin.  Elaine lived at an assisted living facility called The Regency New Berlin for ten years before she was unceremoniously booted in October 2021 following a fall and transfer to a hospital.  While Elaine was in a nursing home rehabilitating from her injury, The Regency refused to allow her to come home, a classic “resident dumping” eviction that is prevalent throughout the country. The article traces the extent of illegal evictions and the financial incentives and lack of regulatory enforcement that enable them.  While several media stories have examined the problems of illegal long term care facility evictions, this particular article explains how disorienting and disruptive they can be, not only on the resident, but their entire family as well.  As long as long term care providers are free to disregard the rules protecting residents from inappropriate evictions, they will continue to do so.

Omicron Leads to Visitation Lockouts Throughout the State

On December 31, the Department of Public Health issued an order requiring all nursing home and assisted living facility visitors to provide proof of a negative COVID test before visiting with their loved ones.  Due to the difficulty in finding tests, the new rule has led to widespread lockouts in many facilities, casting residents into the depressing isolation.  Shortly thereafter, the State permitted COVID-positive long term care facility staff to continue to come to work, creating a ridiculous situation where COVID-positive staff are providing care to residents while vaccinated and boosted visitors who do not have COVID are locked out.Compounding the State’s missteps, a lack of enforcement regarding visitation has led to facilities across the state illegally shutting down all visitation, leaving residents and visitors scratching their heads.  Long term care facilities are not allowed to shut down visitation at their discretion.  If your facility has shut down all visitation, immediately file a complaint with the Department of Public Health (for nursing homes) or the Department of Social Services (for assisted living – email complaint to letusno@dss.ca.gov)