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⭒ News & Notes Archive

February 2016

In this Issue

Support Needed for New CANHR Sponsored Bills

California legislators recently introduced two new CANHR sponsored bills, SB 938 and SB 924. Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB 938, which would help ensure appropriate care for people with dementia who are conserved. The bill requires greater detail from the conservatee’s treating health care provider to demonstrate that a proposed psychotropic drug prescription is appropriate and the least intrusive treatment.

SB 924 was introduced by Senator Richard Roth to provide greater protections for seniors who are being sold an annuity.  The bill would add the requirement that an insurance company ascertain whether the purchase of an annuity is connected to an attempt to qualify for a public benefit and, if so, would require the insurance company to determine whether or not it is a suitable transaction.

Meanwhile, SB 33 (Hernandez) – a bill CANHR is co-sponsoring with Western Center on Law and Poverty to reform Medi-Cal’s recovery program – is a holdover from 2015 and still under consideration.

CANHR v. Dooley Case on Hospital Dumping in the News

On February 24, 2016, NPR’s Morning Edition spotlighted the growing problem of “hospital dumping” of nursing home residents in a story, Nursing Home Evictions Strand The Disabled In Costly Hospitals. Reporter Ina Jaffe told the story of Bruce Anderson, a co-plaintiff along with CANHR in the CANHR v. Dooley case and a nursing home resident who has been stuck in a hospital for nearly a year after the State of California ordered he be readmitted to his nursing home.  After making these orders, the State does nothing to enforce them, exacerbating a resident’s abandonment.  Kaiser Health News also featured CANHR’s lawsuit in an excellent article, The Agonizing Limbo Of Abandoned Nursing Home Residents, by reporter Anna Gorman that was published on February 22, 2016.
Read the CANHR v. Dooley complaint

California Court Prohibits Nursing Home Decisionmaking for Unrepresented Residents Due to Lack of Notice

The final judgment in CANHR v. Chapman has been issued, ending the practice of nursing homes making decisions – including whether to give mind-altering drugs and withdraw life-sustaining treatment – on behalf of “unrepresented” residents. The judgment prohibits the use of Health and Safety Code Section 1418.8, a 24 year old statute permitting nursing home staff members to make health care decisions for residents who lack capacity to make their own decisions and do not have a substitute decisionmaker. The court’s ruling follows its June 2015 decision that Section 1418.8 was unconstitutional because it lacks any requirements that nursing home residents be told critical decisions are being made for them. The court’s final judgment states “the use of Health and Safety Code section 1418.8 is prohibited” because it does not require residents be adequately notified in writing. The judgment also holds that section 1418.8 is prohibited for the administration of antipsychotic drugs and for withdrawing or withholding end-of-life care.
Read the Press Release

Community Care Licensing Introduces New Legislation on Civil Penalties

On February 18, 2016, Assembly Member Calderon introduced AB 2231, a bill developed by Community Care Licensing to improve its civil penalty system for facilities it licenses, including residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs). CANHR strongly opposed an earlier iteration of this legislation, AB 1467 (Bloom), that sought to cut fines for smaller RCFEs that directly caused the death of or serious injury to a resident. Unlike the earlier legislation, AB 2231 appropriately maintains the higher fines the Legislature established in 2014 for RCFEs that cause death and serious injuries to residents, while also increasing the amount of lower level fines. CANHR supports the introduced version of AB 2231.

Brookdale Facility to Pay $1 Million in Wrongful Death Settlement

On February 23, 2016, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that Emeritus at Santa Rosa agreed to pay $1 million to settle a wrongful death and elder abuse lawsuit alleging it allowed Eleanor Buckingham to die of sepsis in 2013 from complications of a neglected bedsore. Her attorneys alleged that Emeritus let profits dictate its treatment decisions and transferred her from its skilled nursing facility to its assisted living facility despite the severe bedsore on her back. The facility’s name was changed to Brookdale Fountaingrove after Emeritus was purchased in 2014 by Brookdale, the nation’s largest assisted living chain.

Inspector General of Social Security Issues Fraud Advisory

On January 5, 2016, Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr., the Inspector General of Social Security, issued an alert warning citizens about a fraudulent email “phishing” scheme targeting anyone who may receive Social Security benefits, now or in the future. The alert describes fraudulent messages asking recipients to verify their Social Security number and other personal information, possibly for the purposes of identify theft or Social Security benefit theft.

New Brief Examines How Non-Financial Factors Affect Retirement Decisions

In February, The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College published a review of studies on how retirement decisions are made. The brief reports that financial factors are only a small part of the story, that non-financial factors have a major influence on retirement decisions and that retiring workers are often being pulled by a desire for other activities rather than pushed by a dislike of work.


Upcoming Events

Medi-Cal & Medi-Cal Recovery Training in Los Angeles on April 22, 2016

If you are working in nursing home admissions, hospital discharge planning or with elders in the community, it is imperative that you have current, accurate information about Medi-Cal Eligibility and Recovery. This training will provide a three-hour overview of the application process, eligibility rules, and how to avoid Medi-Cal Recovery.

This course will cover the following issues:

  • Learn about CANHR services to better assist your clients
  • Understand the eligibility requirements for Long Term Care Medi-Cal and community based Medi-Cal
  • Become knowledgeable about Medi-Cal Recovery issues
  • A review of the Medi-Cal application

April 22, 2016
10:00am – 1:00pm
Magnolia Place
1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Price: $30 regular  ($25 for existing SWAP Members and students)
CEU Credits: 3 Hours