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⭒ News & Notes Archive

March 2015

In this Issue

CANHR’s Executive Director Testifies at Hearing on California Department of Health’s Oversight of Nursing Homes

On March 25, 2015, Pat McGinnis, CANHR’s Executive Director, testified at the joint Assembly Committee on Health and Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care oversight hearing titled California Department of Public Health: 
What Progress is Being Made to Improve Nursing Home Oversight? Blasting the Department’s incompetent management, failure to investigate thousands of complaints, failure to protect residents from illegal evictions and failure to operate as a consumer protection agency, Ms. McGinnis noted that, if anything, oversight is worse today than it was ten years ago or even one year ago when she testified at another oversight hearing to the same Committees on the same failures of the Department.
She also voiced CANHR’s opposition to the Administration and Department’s budget proposal to provide DPH with millions of dollars to add 250 positions when the Department predicts it will take at least four years to catch up with its current investigative caseload.  The California State Auditor, who also testified, found the Department to be a “high-risk” agency, failing to comply with most of their recommendations issued in an October 2014 audit report and finding that the Department had a backlog of 11,000 open nursing home complaints. Ms. McGinnis urged the committee members to support AB 348 (Brown) that would set deadlines for completing complaint investigations.

Watch the hearing…

Read Pat McGinnis’ testimony…

Read the agenda…

Read the briefing paper on the Hearing…

Read the State Auditor’s Factsheet on audit of DPH…

CANHR Executive Director interviewed on PBS Newshour on Medicaid Recovery

An PBS Newshour Report on March 24, 2015 highlighted the problems with the Medicaid recovery system and interviewed Pat McGinnis, CANHR’s executive director about the issues and SB 33 (Hernandez), which passed the Senate Health Committee on March 25 with an 8-0 vote.
Listen to the PBS Newshour report…

Lisa Alaferis, a KQED reporter, posted a story on California’s Medi-Cal recovery system: Many on Medi-Cal learning that the state can file a claim against their estate after they die.
Read the KQED story…

CANHR Attorney Testifies Before State Senate Judiciary Committee

CANHR attorney Tony Chicotel testified on March 24th at the state Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing on elder abuse and conservatorships. The Committee was concerned about the state of conservatorships following the passage of comprehensive reform legislation in 2006. Several of the reforms, as well as dozens of recommendations from a Judicial Council task force, have not been implemented due to lack of funding. Tony testified in support of three law changes: reforming California’s “all or nothing” view of mental capacity and conservator powers, requiring attorneys appointed to represent conservatees to provide zealous advocacy, and modernizing Probate Code 2356.5 “dementia powers” to reflect the dangers of using psychotropic drugs to treat dementia.

Justice in Aging Issues Policy Brief on the Fiction of “Assistance with Self-Administration” of Medications in RCFEs

Justice in Aging has issued the first in a series of policy briefs exploring how California’s current assisted living system addresses residents’ health care needs, and how the system could be modified to better serve residents. This policy issue brief, “The Problem: Pretending that Medication Is Always ‘Self-Administered’”, explores the need to legitimate and regulate the practice of medication administration to protect residents, assisted living communities, and staff.
Read the policy issue brief…

CANHR Releases “Your Right to Leave”: a Guide for Battling Forced Placement in Long-Term Care Facilities

CANHR has posted a new free guide for long-term care consumers, “Your Right to Leave” a guide to the rights of long-term care consumers to be free from false imprisonment. Residents are often illegally held in nursing homes or assisted living facilities against their will despite no judicial decision or legal process. “Your Right to Leave” explains how and why this happens but more importantly, details residents’ rights to be free from forced placement and gives guidance on remedies. “Your Right to Leave” is the second guide in a CANHR series, following “Your Right to Visit” about visitation issues in long-term care facilities and hospitals.

New Financial Abuse Study

A new study came out of the Center for Retirement Research titled, “How does ageing affect financial decision making?” The study followed a group of seniors of a period of time and measured their financial literacy. They also tracked the senior’s self-assessment on their confidence of their ability to make decisions.  The study’s finding was that the seniors financial literacy declined by about one percent per year while their confidence in their decision making ability remained relatively constant.  This, the study concluded, raises serious concerns over seniors retaining primary responsibility for managing their finances.
Read “Aging Affects Financial Decision Making”

2015 Rates from the Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health has released the 2015 Statewide Average Private Pay Rate For Nursing Facilities (APPR). The 2015 is $8,092. This is used in calculating the period of ineligibility for transfers of nonexempt property for less than fair market value.

The Department of Public Health has released the new limits for the Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level (A&D FPL). They are as follows: Beginning April 1, 2015, income limits for A&D FPL individual will be $1,211. This income limit is equal to $981 (100 percent of FPL) and the $230 standard disregard for an individual. The A&D FPL couple limit will be $1,638. This income limit is equal to $1,328 (100 percent of the FPL for a couple) plus the $310 standard disregard for couples.

Legislative Committees to Hear CANHR Sponsored Bills in April

Legislative committees will hear at least three CANHR sponsored bills in April.

AB 348 (Brown), which would require timely nursing home complaint investigations, is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Health Committee on April 7.

AB 927 (McCarty), the Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure Act of 2015, is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Health Committee on April 14.

AB 601 (Eggman), which strengthens ownership disclosure and suitability requirements for residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs), is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Human Services Committee on April 28.

The Administration’s proposal to extend AB 1629, the Medi-Cal reimbursement system for skilled nursing facilities, is scheduled for hearing by the Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services on April 23.
Read CANHR’s factsheet on the proposal.

You can help by sending letters of support to the committees and expressing support at the hearings. CANHR thanks the many organizations and individuals who have already submitted support letters on legislation we are sponsoring this year.
Click here for more information on CANHR’s 2015 legislation and how you can help.

Upcoming Events

Medi-Cal Training for Social Workers, Discharge Planners, Geriatric Case Managers & Other Professionals

CANHR will be presenting an overview of Medi-Cal and Medi-Cal Recovery on the following dates:

Los Angeles – April 10, 2015
Children’s Bureau, Magnolia Place Family Center
1910 Magnolia Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
3 Hours of CEU Credits
Price: $30

San Francisco – April 17, 2015
St. Mary’s Cathedral
1111 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
3 Hours of CEU Credits
Price: $30