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April 10 – Support 6Beds Sponsor AB 2744: Referral Agency Bill

After more than one unsuccessful attempt by other groups at passing referral agency legislation, 6Beds is taking the lead in sponsoring Assembly Bill 2744 – Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Referral Agency.

6Beds Sponsors AB 2744 Referral Agency Bill

AB 2744 is co-authored by Assemblymember Eloise Reyes and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio to bring about much needed regulations and accountability to referral agencies.

If you have ever been wronged or have been taken advantage of by a referral agency, now is your chance to take a stand and make a difference!

AB 2744 will first be heard by the Legislature on April 10 at 1:30 PM in room 437 at the Capitol. Please join our 6Beds leaders to support this bill.

While not all referral agencies are predatory — as many do really help to place clients fairly into appropriate homes — there are those (we won’t name them here) who have really exploited their marketing and technological positions to exert dominance over this industry’s referral services. In the process, they’ve taken shortcuts to place clients in care homes, charge exorbitant referral fees, are unyielding in their approach to getting paid regardless of extenuating circumstances, are under-trained in our industry’s practices and regulations, and above all, do not completely disclose their marketing practices to their clients.

AB 2744 will require registration of all referral agencies (person or entity that provides referrals for a fee) with DSS and will impose various regulations to ensure fair and transparent dealings with clients and facilities. The bill has many provisions. Click here to read them in their entirety. Below are some provisions deemed noteworthy by the bill’s author:

1569.901.

(a) A referral agency shall not provide a referral to a facility unless registered with the department pursuant to this section.

1569.902.

(a) Before providing a referral, a referral agency shall provide the client with a disclosure that includes all of the following in clear language:
(6) A statement as to whether the referral agency has visited the facility or communicated with another referral agency or health care professional who has visited the facility.
(7) A list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all the facilities to which the referral agency has supplied the name of the client or the potential resident.
(10) A description of the training the referral agency has provided or required of employees pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1569.907.

1569.903. If the referral agency has an Internet Web site, it shall prominently display on the first page, prior to the client being asked to sign up for services or agree to terms, all of the following:

(b) The statement: “If you are referred to a residential care facility for the elderly, the facility you use may be required to pay the referral agency a fee.”

1569.905. A referral agency shall not do any of the following:

(a) Sell placement information to a facility or marketing affiliate without obtaining affirmative consent from the client each time the information is sold.
(d) Hold any power of attorney for a client or potential resident or hold that person’s property in any capacity.

1569.906. An employee of a referral agency who will be in direct contact with the potential resident shall be required to obtain either a criminal record clearance or a criminal record exemption from the department before his or her initial contact with a potential resident, as provided in Section 1569.17.

1569.909.

(a) A contract between a referral agency and a facility shall include all of the following:
(b) (1) If a referred client decides not to use the facility, the facility is entitled to a refund of 100 percent of the referral fee, if paid by the facility.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), if the potential resident leaves the facility for any reason, including death, referral fees that have been paid by a facility shall be refunded as follows:
(A) During the first month of residency, the facility shall be entitled to a refund of at least 80 percent of the referral fee.
(B) During the second month of residency, the facility shall be entitled to a refund of at least 60 percent of the referral fee.
(C) During the third month of residency, the facility shall be entitled to a refund of at least 40 percent of the referral fee.
(c) A facility may rely on the client’s written declaration as to which referral agency the client used and shall not be required to pay a fee to any other referral agency.

Again, to better understand and fully grasp AB 2744, please read its full description and provisions by clicking here.

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