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News & Notes Archive

July 2022

In this Issue

New Factsheet for Medi-Cal Asset Limit Increased July 01, 2022

California increased the asset limits for certain Medi-Cal programs. Beginning July 1, 2022, the state raised the Medi-Cal asset limit for a single individual to $130,000, $195,000 for a couple, and $65,000 for each additional family member. On January 1, 2024, the state is expected to eliminate the Medi-Cal asset limit completely. CANHR’s factsheet answers key questions about the effects of the new asset limits on current recipients and prospective applicants.

Residents of Laguna Honda Have the Right to Stay Despite Decertification

The April 14, 2022 termination of Laguna Honda’s Medicare and Medi-Cal certification put funding for California’s largest nursing home in jeopardy and left its nearly 700 residents worried about their futures. Laguna Honda remains licensed and has announced its plans to obtain recertification and stay open. At the same time, it has also prepared a plan to transfer residents and close the facility, which has allowed it to continue to receive federal funds to care for residents while it seeks recertification by Medicare and Medi-Cal. For now, Laguna Honda residents have the right to stay at the facility because there is no legal basis for transferring or discharging them. The facility continues to be paid for residents’ care and is not ceasing to operate. Importantly, residents have strong appeal rights and should exercise them if needed. Click here to read more about the rights of residents at Laguna Honda to stay at the facility.

Click here to read the May 16, 2022 San Francisco Chronicle article: Laguna Honda readies plan to move patients as fight to stay open reaches a critical juncture.

New Surveyor Guidance Supplements Nursing Home Requirements

On June 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released updated guidelines for nursing home surveyors.  The updates cover a wide range of nursing home issues, from resident rights and reporting abuse and neglect to staffing requirements and other quality of care concerns.  Of particular note is the new guidance encouraging surveyors to look at potential misuse of all psychotropic drugs, not just the four classes (antipsychotics, anti-anxieties, anti-depressants, and hypnotics) of traditional CMS concern.  Additionally, CMS included significant guidance regarding pre-dispute arbitration agreements, which are used nearly universally to strip residents of their ability to sue nursing homes that harm them or violate their rights.  Our friends at Justice in Aging have produced a helpful Issue Brief summarizing the major changes to the surveyors’ guidelines.

New Guide on Best Ways to Comfort Someone with Advanced Dementia

An excellent new guide by CaringKind gives information for family members, friends and caregivers on supporting the best possible quality of life for someone whose dementia is progressing. The guide – Finding Comfort: Living with Advanced Dementia in Residential Care – discusses ways to bring comfort and prevent distress for persons living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. For the person with even the most advanced dementia, comfort matters and is possible.

Conservatorship Abuses & Reforms Webinar Posted

The Jerome Tobis Endowed Lecture Series recently posted a webinar called “Conservatorships in California: Abuses, Critiques, and Proposals for Reform” The webinar features four speakers covering both probate and LPS conservatorships, supported decisionmaking as an alternative to conservatorship, and current conservatorship reform efforts – including AB 1663, a bill co-sponsored by CANHR.