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⭒ News & Notes Archive

June 2022

In this Issue

Tell CMS to Establish a Minimum Staffing Standard for Nursing Homes

On April 15, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that includes requests for information regarding the implementation of a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. CMS says it plans to propose a minimum staffing standard within one year.

CANHR strongly supports the proposal for a minimum staffing standard, which would be one of the most important nursing home reforms in decades. It’s imperative that advocates, residents and family members respond to the request for information, emphasizing the importance of adequate staffing in nursing homes, by June 10, 2022.

The Consumer Voice developed two very helpful sets of model comments for your use. One is quick and easy and can be submitted in minutes. The other provides detailed model responses. Both options are posted on this page: Tell CMS to Establish a Minimum Staffing Standard in Nursing Homes

Medi-Cal Asset Limit Increase Factsheet

California will increase the asset limits for certain Medi-Cal programs, and is expected to eventually remove asset limit requirements all together.  Beginning July 1, 2022, the state will raise 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.

Newsom Administration Releases Last-Minute Plan to Extend and Expand Failed Payment System for Skilled Nursing Facilities

On May 17, 2022, the Newsom Administration released a budget proposal that would give nursing home operators hundreds of millions of additional dollars annually through a Medi-Cal rate increase with no strings attached. The proposal would expand and extend the current payment system – known as AB 1629 – for another four years without including any of the badly needed reforms CANHR and other advocacy organizations have recommended. Designed by the nursing home industry with promises to improve staffing and care, the AB 1629 rate system has instead produced billionaire owners and epidemic levels of elder abuse in California nursing homes. The new proposal will produce more of the same. Read CANHR’s opposition letters to the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees.

Senate Health Committee to Hear Ownership Reform Bill Soon – Support Needed

AB 1502 (Muratsuchi & Wood) – the Skilled Nursing Facility Ownership and Management Reform Act of 2022 – will next be heard by the Senate Health Committee in June, likely in mid-month. The CANHR sponsored bill seeks to prevent dangerously unfit and unlicensed operators from acquiring and running nursing homes in California. You can help by sending a support letter to the Senate Health Committee by June 7. A sample support letter and other information on the bill are posted on CANHR’s AB 1502 webpage.

Click here to read the May 13, 2022 Kaiser Health News article:  California aims to tighten licensing of nursing homes after pandemic exposes deadly lapses

Click here to read the May 23, 2022 State of Reform article: The ‘most important nursing home bill in decades’ nears passage in California

Western Union Scam Refunds

We have all heard of people getting scammed into wiring money via Western Union, but you may not know that the government prosecuted Western Union and that $586 million was forfeited into a victims’ fund. If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and you have not already file a claim, you still have time to make a request to get your money back. Click here for further information.

LAist Reports on Medical Parole Patients Shipped to Decertified Nursing Home

recent story from LAist is reporting how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has consolidated nearly every one of its medical parole patients into Golden Legacy, a Sylmar nursing home with a very troubled history of bad care. Medical parole patients are incarcerated individuals who are moved from prison, often into nursing homes, because they are “medically incapacitated” and need assistance with activities of daily living that would qualify them for placement in a health care facility. For years, medical parole patients have lived in nursing homes throughout the state.