Urge the Governor to Sign Nursing Home Reform Bills!

For the first time in over a decade, the legislature has passed multiple major nursing home reform bills and Governor Newsom is weighing whether to sign them.  In addition to AB 279, there are more bills of importance pending Governor Newsom action or their passive passage into law. These bill were put together as part of the PROTECT PLAN.

SB 650 (Stern), the Corporate Transparency in Elder Care Act, is co-sponsored by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, SEIU, and AARP and would require nursing homes to account for public funds that corporate chains are increasingly diverting from resident care through shadowy side transactions with related parties.

Click here for a sample SB 650 support letter.

AB 849 (Gómez-Reyes), will restore Health and Safety Code Section 1430(b) to provide statutory damages to victims of resident rights violations for each violation they have suffered.  A 2020 state Supreme Court decision capped the damages to $500 regardless of the number or severity of the violations.  A restored Section 1430(b) is residents’ only hope for receiving justice and ensuring compliance with the rules meant to protect their safety and dignity.  AB 849 is sponsored by the California Attorney General. October 4, 2021 update: Governor Newsom has signed AB 849 into law.

AB 279 (Muratsuchi).  Many residents of California skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) and intermediate care facilities (“ICFs”) face a terrible prospect in the ongoing COVID pandemic: involuntary transfer to new facilities, sight unseen, far from their families and support networks.  AB 279 would prohibit the owner of an ICF or SNF from ceasing to deliver or making significant changes to residential care services, or from transferring a resident to another facility, during the COVID-19 declared state of emergency, except if the owner files for bankruptcy.

Click here for a sample AB 279 letter.

AB 323 (Kalra): Provides an inflationary boost to nursing home citation penalties and updates criteria for AA Citations (those that cause the death of a resident) from the “direct proximate cause of death” standard to the clearer “substantial factor” test. October 4, 2021 update: Governor Newsom has signed AB 323 into law.

AB 749 (Nazarian): Requires nursing home medical directors to be certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.  October 6, 2021 update: Governor Newsom has signed A 749 into law.

AB 1042 (Jones-Sawyer): Establishes shared liability for entities that share ownership or control of nursing homes. Related parties will be liable for unpaid state monetary penalties for citations and unpaid quality assurance fees. October 4, 2021 update: Governor Newsom has signed AB 1042 into law.

AB 1502 (Muratsuchi): Establishes suitability standards for persons and entities seeking to run nursing homes and ends nursing home squatting, where persons or entities run nursing homes without approval from the state.  (This is a two-year bill, and has not yet reached the Governor’s desk, but we encourage you to urge your legislator to support it.)

All of these bills are essential pieces of the legislature’s 2021 PROTECT Plan, a package of bills aimed at reforming nursing homes to improve state oversight, financial transparency, accountability, and ultimately enhance care for all residents.

An easy way to deliver your request for signing these bills into law can be done here, making sure to select the appropriate bill in the “pull-down” menu next to “Please choose your subject” at: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/

Optionally, you can send the letters via email to leg.unit@gov.ca.gov

or via postal mail to:

Governor Gavin Newsom
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

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