Sacramento––A coalition of California legislators will appear at a press conference on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 11:30am in Room 3191 at the State Capitol to unveil their bills as part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014.
In response to the recent scandal at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley, where 19 elderly residents were abandoned by the care home owner, and the scathing investigative reports about the failures in oversight and enforcement regarding California’s Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, a number of legislators have rallied to address the critical issues faced by RCFE residents in California. Fourteen (14) bills, constituting the RCFE Reform Act of 2014, will be introduced during the 2014 legislative session.
In California, all “assisted living” facilities are licensed as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). With 7,500 RCFEs currently licensed for 174,000+ beds, RCFE residents in California are facing a crisis in care. The recent Frontline/ProPublica documentary, “Life and Death in Assisted Living,” and investigation, “Elderly, At Risk and Haphazardly Protected,” highlighted some of the critical issues faced by RCFE residents in California. Several 2013 investigative reports by the San Diego Union Tribune and the CHCF Center for Health Reporting revealed that hundreds of elders suffered broken bones, deadly bedsores and sexual assaults in San Diego RCFEs, while documenting at least 28 deaths in these facilities due to injuries and neglect.
The bills being introduced include increasing fines from the current maximum of $150, establishing an on-line consumer information system, increasing inspections of these facilities to once a year rather than once every five years, bans on admissions for those facilities posing a danger to residents, timely response to consumer complaints, enhanced staffing and increased training for facility staff, expediting closures of poor facilities and increased protections for relocation of residents, increasing the rights for residents and family members and mandating liability insurance.
Legislators, including Senators Marty Block, Ellen Corbett, Mark Leno, and Assembly Members Toni G. Atkins, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Nancy Skinner and Mariko
Yamada, along with consumer advocates and family members of RCFE residents, will be on hand to answer media questions.
Sponsors and supporters include CANHR, the Consumer Federation of California (which includes a coalition of several organizations), the Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform in San Diego and other San Diego consumer groups, as well as various advocacy organizations for elders and persons with disabilities.
The press conference will provide details on the bills being introduced and press packets detailing the bills will be provided.
CANHR is a statewide long-term care advocacy and service organization, established in 1983.