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⭒ News & Notes Archive

June 2016

In this Issue

Governor Brown Signed SB 833 – Major Changes to the Medi-Cal Recovery Program

The budget bills signed by Governor Brown incorporated the provisions of SB 33 (Hernandez) and ensure:

No recovery on the estates of surviving spouses.

Recovery will be limited to only what is required by federal law, i.e., for those 55+ years of age, nursing home facility and long term care services or any age if the person was “permanently institutionalized.”

Waivers of estate claims for homesteads of modest value.

Read On…

Forced Exodus: How Avalon Care Center Abandoned Its Promises and Cleared Out Its Residents

Avalon Care Center, a nursing home in Modesto, was recently issued a whopping 29 citations by the State Department of Public Health (DPH) for engaging in a reprehensible and systematic illegal eviction program to force out undesirable “long-term” residents. The facility was in the process of being sold in 2015 when word spread that the new owner wanted to “convert the facility to a sub-acute setting” and “didn’t want long-term care residents.” It is increasingly common for nursing homes to focus their care on higher paying therapy residents at the expense of poorer long term or “custodial” residents.
Read More…

Medicare Releases Draft Proposal For Patient Observation Notice

Analyzing data from the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Associated Press reports that complaints about discharges and evictions from nursing facilities are up 57% since 2000 and constitute the top grievance reported in 2014 (11,331 complaints). Associated Press:, “Nursing homes turn to eviction to drop difficult patients,” Modern Healthcare (May 5, 2016).
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Filipino care home owners to pay workers $718K in back wages

The owners of two Residential Care businesses will pay 32 workers more than $359,000 in back wages and an equal, additional amount in liquidated damages, for violating US fair labor laws. The employers paid most workers a flat rate per day, ranging from $75 to $103, for working at least 12 hours per day, five to six days a week. As a result, the employer violated minimum wage laws when the day rates failed to cover at least $7.25 per hour for all the hours employees worked.
Read More…

Bill to Increase Nursing Home Staffing Requirements Moves Forward

A pending bill, AB 2079, would raise California’s dangerously low nursing home staffing standards from 3.2 nursing hours per resident day to 4.1 nursing hours per resident day over a three-year period. If enacted, it would provide the first increase to California’s nursing home staffing requirements since January 1, 2000. The Senate Health Committee passed the bill on June 22, 2016 after it cleared the full Assembly earlier in June. AB 2079 is authored by Assembly Member Ian Calderon and sponsored by the SEIU California. The bill will next be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Read CANHR’s letter to the Senate Health Committee on AB 2079.

Caring Kind Releases Guidelines on Dementia Care

 In June, CaringKind (formerly the Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter) released excellent new guidelines on care for people with dementia in nursing homes. The guidelines are the result of a multi-year project in which three New York City nursing homes adopted the groundbreaking model of dementia care at the Beatitudes Campus of Care in Phoenix, Arizona. Using a comfort-focused care approach that aims to prevent or relieve resident distress, the guidelines seek to eliminate the use of antipsychotic drugs and other types of chemical restraints. CaringKind has posted the guidelines, Palliative Care for People with Dementia, on its website.

Patrick Nakao, Berkeley Attorney and Secretary Treasurer of CANHR’s Board of Directors, stands with California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at the San Francisco World Elder Abuse Awareness event on June 8th. 

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