6Beds, Inc. is an advocacy organization committed to ensuring state and federal law does not create unfair and over-burdensome regulations that will prevent senior citizens from choosing small, home-like settings like six-bed facilities.

We support reforms to improve our sector, and are proud to work with the State Legislature on creating responsible legislation that will address the issues without affecting the quality and affordability of six-bed facilities.

Advocacy, Events

6Beds Packs a Full House! (see pix and vids)

by Ferdinand Ebio
2017 AR and RCFE ConferenceLines started forming early Friday morning, August 18, 2017, for 6Beds’ third annual ARF and RCFE Conference in Buena Park. As anticipated, we had a full house of over 300 participants before 9 AM!

More chairs were brought out to accommodate all the latecomers. The event was standing room only!

With speakers from DSS, DOL, Orange County Regional Center (OCRC) and Littler Law Firm, operators were briefed with the latest in residential care regulations and labor compliance (eg changes in civil penalties, admissions agreement, live-in caregiver requirements, etc) in addition to the strides 6Beds has made with its very first sponsored bill, AB 1437, and its various regulations advocacy work with DSS. Watch the video clips below for all the details.

George Kutnerian
6Beds Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legislation
Kutnerian provides update on AB 1437, various Admission Agreement regulations that 6Beds fought to keep that DSS proposed to change, and various legislations and regulations that 6Beds is currently tackling pertinent to the well being of residential care homes.

Claire Matsushita
Assistant Program Administrator, DSS
(Members Only Access) Matsushita talks about AB 2231 updates pertaining to civil penalties,
upcoming new role and regulations pertaining to temporary managers to help failing facilities and new changes to the admission agreement.
Claire Matsushita

Benita Gates
Regional Manager, El Segundo Regional Center
(Members Only Access) Gates talks about reporting requirements pertaining to the emergency notification requirement and its various new nuances. She also talked about notice of extreme heat in California.
Benita Gaes

Jack Stanton
Manager of Consumer and Community Relations, OCRC
(Members Only Access) Stanton provides an overview of new policy updates to the regional centers regarding the new 4-bed model and its relation to the recent rates increases.
Jack Stanton

Min-Park Chung
Investigator, DOL Wage and Hour Division
(Members Only Access) Chung provides valuable insights to what a labor investigator looks for during a facility visit and how to ensure that facility owners remain compliant with labor laws pertinent to care homes.
(DOL) Min-Park Chung

Attendees were able to get cross-agency answers to key questions from a panel of speakers represented by the aforementioned agencies and organizations above. Watch the panel videos below.

Q and A Panel (Part 1)
(Members Only Access) DSS, DOL, OCRC and Littler Law Firm guest speakers answer many pertinent questions from facility operators ranging from employment issues to residential care regulations.
Q and A Panel 1

Q and A Panel (Part 2)
(Members Only Access) DSS, DOL, OCRC and Littler Law Firm guest speakers answer many pertinent questions from facility operators ranging from employment issues to residential care regulations.
Q and A Panel - 2

We sincerely thank our guest speakers above and their respective organizations for their insightful contributions to our conference.

This event was also an opportunity for many to receive a promotional discount or payment plan to purchase the must-have Wage and Hour Guide for Residential Care Facilities (The Guide). Though many have purchased The Guide, it remains misunderstood, undervalued and overlooked by many operators. The Guide contains all the pertinent employment agreements necessary to classify your employees as live-ins, relievers or 24-hour workersso as to legally exempt payment of sleep time and off duty hours. Watch the introductory video clip below presented by Littler attorneys to learn more.

Introduction to the Wage and Hour Guide for Residential Care Facilities
by Littler Attorneys, Ashley Brick and Sarah Ross

(Click here to learn more about The Guide.)

To that effect, 6Beds is hosting a labor compliance seminar this coming November 14, 2017, in Southern California. Click here to RESERVE YOUR SEAT!

During last month’s conference, participants were also able to connect with our event sponsor vendors who offered promotional products and services. We thank the various vendors who sponsored this very successful event:

  • Alta Hospitals
  • Alzheimer’s Orange County
  • Austin Drugs
  • Clear Choice Senior Services
  • Fobi Pharmacy
  • Gerinet Hospice
  • KCK
  • Mountain View
  • Perlas Insurance
  • Ramloquoi Foundation
  • Sea Crest Hospice
  • Sierra Professional  Insurance Services
  • Sun Solar
  • Vitas Hospice

We especially thank Sierra Professional Insurance Services and Fobi Pharmacy for providing the free CEU classes.

A great many thanks and accolades go to Ines Otbo, Delia Pardo, Ron Simpson, Olivia Deanda and their countless volunteer helpers who marshaled a very well executed conference day and awards night gala the following evening.

Click to view event photos below.

Click to see 2017 ARF & RCFE Conference Pics


Advocacy, Issues, Survey

Emergency Call to Action: Don’t Lose Your Rate Increase!

WHO: Community Care Facilities (CCF) serving individuals with developmental disabilities (DD)

RE: ABX2-1 Rate Increase Survey

WHEN: September 7, 2017 (Thur)
TIME: 10 AM – 11 AM

LOCATION: Phone Conference

  • Call: 515-739-1548
  • Enter Code: 2947#

If you do not complete this survey you will lose your rate increase as of October 1, 2017.

With Assembly Bill (ABX2-1) many service providers received a rate increase through the ABX2-1 funds effective July 1, 2016.

The rate increase was for the purpose of increasing wages and/or benefits for staff.

This mandated survey that must be completed no later than Sunday, October 1, 2017 and on or before Friday, September 15, 2017 to be on time.

AGENDA:

  • Who are required to take survey?
  • Who are exempt from taking survey?
  • Where to take survey?
  • Simplest way to take survey?
  • Questions and Answers

Click here to learn more about the ABX2-1 Rate Increase Survey.

To join the call-to-action conference, please RSVP:

CLICK to RSVP

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: DSS ANNOUNCED 2017 SSI/SSP NON-MEDICAL OUT-OF-HOME CARE (NMOHC) PAYMENT STANDARD

by George Kutnerian
The SSI/SSP non-medical out-of-home care (NMOHC) payment that SSI/SSP recipients who live in residential care facilities receive, has increased to $1,158.37 as follows:

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) $   735.00
State Supplementary Payment (SSP) $   423.37
$1,158.37

Of the $1,158.37, the SSI/SSP recipient is entitled to a personal and incidental needs allowance of $132.  This leaves $1,026.37 as the amount payable to the facility for basic services.

Please note that recipients who have income in addition to their SSI/SSP check (for example, a pension, Social Security Retirement, or disability benefits) can be charged the $1,026.37 amount for basic services plus an additional $20.  Because federal rules do not count the first $20 of a recipient’s income against his or her SSI/SSP grant, an SSI/SSP recipient with other income has an extra $20 that people who receive only an SSI/SSP check do not have.  Neither federal nor state law restricts the recipient in how this additional $20 amount is spent.  Therefore, if the recipient agrees in the admission agreement to pay the additional $20 for basic services, the facility may charge the additional amount resulting in a total monthly basic services charge of $1,046.37.

DSS’ Provider Information Notice regarding this topic can be found here (click to download).

Sincerely,

George K. Kutnerian
Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, RCFE

CCL Announces the Launch of Provider Information Notices (PINs)

by George Kutnerian
On October 21, 2016, Community Care Licensing (CCL) announced the launch of Provider Information Notices (PINs), which it will use moving forward to formally communicate to CCL-licensed facilities.

On the homepage for CCL, you will find the link to the Provider Information Notices (PIN) at the top of “Featured Information.”  These notices will also be available by selecting the “Tools/Resources” tab and then “Information Releases.”

PIN 16-01-CCLD is for all Community Care Licensed Providers and it provides an overview of the PIN process.  PIN 16-01-ASC is specifically for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) and it releases an updated Medication Guide for RCFEs to use as a resource. PIN 16-02-ASC addresses the protection of residents in RCFEs during flu season.

If you are a licensee and CCL has a contact email for you, you may have already received an email notifying you of the launch of PINs.  However, to ensure that everyone has current information, we will announce individual PINs as we are made aware of them by CCL.

Best Regards,
George Kutnerian
Senior Vice President – Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

Assisted Living Waiver Program – DHCS Announces Increased Provider Rates Effective 2017

by George Kutnerian
In a previous post, we let our readers know that California’s new budget would provide for an increase in funding for the Home and Community Based Services waiver programs, which includes the Assisted Living Waiver Program. At that time, the specific rates to take effect on January 1, 2017 had not yet been announced.

DHCS recently announced the specific provider rates that are to take effect on January 1, 2017.  The new provider rates are as follows:

 

Effective 2017                      Current

Tier 1         $55/day              $52/day

Tier 2         $66/day              $62/day

Tier 3         $75/day              $71/day

Tier 4         $87/day              $82/day

 

This marks the first rate increase the Assisted Living Waiver Program has received since its inception as a pilot program in 2006 when it began serving Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties.

The primary goal of the Assisted Living Waiver Program is to enable low-income, Medi-Cal eligible seniors and persons with disabilities, who would otherwise require nursing facility services, to remain in or relocate to the community.  The program was approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and is currently in the midst of its second five-year waiver that will run into 2019.  The Assisted Living Waiver Program currently operates in 14 counties throughout the State.

6-bed RCFEs play an important role in the Assisted Living Waiver Program.  The Assisted Living Waiver Program provider rate increase is yet another signal of the effectiveness of 6Beds’ advocacy in Sacramento, where 6Beds has persistently been advocating for provider rate increases for programs that impact 6-bed facilities as well as new funding sources for 6-bed facilities to cope with the rising costs of doing business in California.

Best Regards,

George Kutnerian, M.S., MBA
Senior Vice President – Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

First Increase in a Decade to State SSP Portion of the SSI/SSP Grant

by George Kutnerian
Effective January 1, 2017, the state SSP portion of the SSI/SSP grant will receive a cost-of-living increase equivalent to the increase in the California Necessities Index, which is 2.76 percent.  This increase would mark the first State SSP increase in more than a decade.

California, home to almost 20% of the nation’s SSI population, has long relied on 6-bed residential care facilities to provide housing and care for SSI/SSP recipients, among which are primarily the elderly and adults with disabilities, including those with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses.

The disparity between the capped SSI/SSP rate and the median market rate has grown to become a gaping chasm over the years, with the SSI/SSP board and care rate failing to keep up with the rapidly rising housing and operating costs that California’s small 6-bed residential care facilities face.

The 2.76% increase to the State SSP portion of the SSI/SSP grant, the first such increase in more than a decade, has been long overdue and is a step, albeit a very modest one, in the right direction.  6Beds recognizes that much more will have to be done to sustain the small 6-bed residential care facilities that care for SSI/SSP recipients and will continue to advocate on their behalf.

Best Regards,

George Kutnerian, M.S., MBA
Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

First Ever Rate Increase for Assisted Living Waiver Program

by George Kutnerian
California’s new budget will provide for an increase in funding for the Home and Community Based Services waiver programs, which includes the Assisted Living Waiver Program.

The budget will provide for an estimated $7.1 million from the State’s General Fund and an estimated $5.1 million in federal funds, reflecting increased costs in Home and Community Based Services waiver programs and long-term care facilities rate add-ons.

The specific provider rate increase for the Assisted Living Waiver Program has not yet been determined, but increased rates should take effect on January 1, 2017 and we expect the new rates to be announced sometime in the 4th quarter of this year.

The much needed and long overdue provider rate increase would be the first rate increase the Assisted Living Waiver Program has received since its inception as a pilot program in 2006 when it began serving Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties.

The primary goal of the Assisted Living Waiver Program is to enable low-income, Medi-Cal eligible seniors and persons with disabilities, who would otherwise require nursing facility services, to remain in or relocate to the community.  The program was approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and is currently in the midst of its second five-year waiver that will run until February 28, 2019, by which time we expect that another five year waiver renewal will be approved.  The Assisted Living Waiver Program currently operates in 14 counties throughout the State.

6-bed RCFEs and ARFs play an important role in the Assisted Living Waiver Program and 6Beds will continue to keep its members and followers apprised of new information pertaining to the provider rate increase.

Best Regards,

George Kutnerian, M.S., MBA
Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, Issues, RCFE

$5/Bed Tax on RCFEs Proposed – 6Beds Opposes

On April 28, 2016, the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association (CLTCOA) proposed a $5/bed tax on all RCFEs to provide additional funding to the State’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP).

Watch footage from the April 28, 2016 Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services to hear the CLTCOA’s $5/bed RCFE tax proposal and 6Beds’ opposition testimony by 6Beds lobbyist, Robert Naylor.

While 6Beds supports the CLTCOA’s request for more funding from the State’s General Fund, 6Beds does not believe that additional funding for the LTCOP should come at the direct expense of small-home RCFE operators that, in just the last two years, have been heavily burdened by costly regulations, including:

  • 30% increase in licensing fees to help fund Community Care Licensing functions, including a return to annual inspections
  • Liability insurance mandate, costing thousands of dollars a year in insurance premiums
  • Significant increase in civil penalties
  • Quadrupling caregiver training hours
  • Doubling administrator certification hours
  • Increasing Medication Training
  • Expanding dementia care training

6Beds understands that the State has made changes with the goal of improving California’s residential care system, but these changes come with a cost that impact both small-home RCFE’s and their residents.  There is now data that shows there are more RCFE closures than openings, resulting in a net loss of facilities at a time when California’s older adult population is expanding rapidly.  Most of these closures are voluntary closures, which suggest that the primary reason for closures is lack of economic viability.

Some argue that the proposed tax does not represent a significant dollar amount. However, 6Beds is opposed to all taxes that target residential care operators, regardless of the size of the tax.  Any RCFE tax, regardless of amount, sets a bad precedent that can open the floodgates for future taxes on RCFEs and other residential care operators.

6Beds members strive to provide safe, quality, and affordable residential care.  6Beds understands the purpose of the LTCOP and the positive role that it can play in the residential care system, which is why 6Beds supports the CLTCOA’s General Fund request and, potentially, alternative funding sources that do not rely on taxing RCFE operators.

Regards,

George Kutnerian

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

6Beds Lobby Day: Dozens and Dozens of 6Beds Members Flood the State Capitol for Testimony in Opposition to the Civil Penalties Bill (AB 2231)

Dozens and dozens of 6Beds members and supporters flooded the State Capitol on April 12, 2016 for 6Beds’ Lobby Day with 6Beds’ testimony before the Assembly Human Services Committee in opposition to the civil penalties bill, AB 2231, one of the focal points of the day.

AB 2231 addresses violations, including repeat violations and serious/zero tolerance violations, as well as the civil penalties associated with these types of violations.  6Beds’ official comment letter on the bill can also be found here as well as the Assembly Human Services Committee’s bill analysis, which incorporated 6Beds’ comments.  Similar to the complainant appeal process that was proposed in 2015, 6Beds was once again the only provider organization to formally take an opposition position.

Although AB 2231 did not propose to change the highest civil penalty amounts of $15,000 and $10,000, which took effect with the passage of AB 2236 two years ago, 6Beds advocated that AB 2231 be amended to include the scaling down of these penalty amounts for RCFEs and ARFs serving six or fewer persons given the disproportionate economic impact and risk of closure these penalties expose small facilities to.  6Beds also advocated for an amendment that would tighten up the definition of a repeat violation to prevent situations where violations with different facts and circumstances could unfairly be labeled as repeat violations, subjecting licensees to costly civil penalties.  Finally, in light of Community Care Licensing’s (CCL) move towards collecting civil penalties upfront even if the deficiency is under appeal, 6Beds advocated for an amendment that would codify historic practice of having to pay a civil penalty only after the conclusion of an unsuccessful appeal.  It is fundamentally unfair for licensees to be asked to pay civil penalties while their appeals are pending.

The audience in the room that held the Assembly Human Services Committee hearing resembled a sea of blue, dominated by a large number of 6Beds members wearing blue 6Beds shirts. 6Beds’ testimony and the dozens of 6Beds members that formed a long line to individually express their opposition following the testimony made a powerful statement to both legislators and CCL that licensees of small residential care facilities are not to be ignored.  In response to 6Beds’ message and presence, the Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, Susan Bonilla (D – Concord), and the author of AB 2231, Ian Calderon (D – Whittier) both recognized the treatment of licensees with respect to sometimes inconsistent and subjective enforcement by CCL.  In the longer term, 6Beds believes that this recognition may help pave the way for future reforms of the Community Care Licensing system with the aim of improving the treatment and rights of licensees.  In the immediate term, 6Beds’ advocacy has caused Mr. Calderon to commit to working with 6Beds, particularly on amendments related to the definition of a repeat violation as well as the timing of civil penalty payments.

6Beds’ leadership would like to convey a heartfelt thank you to all of its members and supporters for their participation on April 12, 2016.  Everyone did a tremendous job of representing 6Beds, which has only increased 6Beds’ efficacy and will help 6Beds build upon the following positive changes relative to previous proposals for the bill that were already made prior to April 12, 2016:

Civil Penalty Amounts

The bill proposes to increase civil penalty amounts for serious/zero tolerance violations (e.g. fire clearance violations, overcapacity, ambulatory status, inoperable smoke alarms, absence of supervision, accessible bodies of water, accessible firearms/ammunition, refused entry to a facility, etc.).  Currently, the civil penalty amount for these types of violations is $150.  Prior to the introduction of AB 2231, it was proposed that the civil penalty amount for serious/zero tolerance violations be $1,000.  6Beds’ advocacy helped reduce this amount to the $500 that is currently proposed in AB 2231.

AB 2231 also proposes to increase civil penalty amounts for repeat violations of serious/zero tolerance violations, as well as other violation types.  Prior to AB 2231, it was proposed that the civil penalty amount for repeat violations of serious/zero tolerance violations be $2,000 plus $1,500 for each day the violation is not corrected.  6Beds’ advocacy helped reduce this amount to the current $1,000 plus $100 for each day the violation is not corrected that is proposed in AB 2231.

Prior to AB 2231, it was proposed that the civil penalty amount for repeat violations that were not of the serious/zero tolerance type be $500 plus $100 for each day the violation is not corrected.  6Beds’ advocacy helped reduce this amount to the current $250 plus $100 for each day the violation is not corrected that is proposed in AB 2231.

Imposition of Separate Civil Penalty for Underlying Violations

Prior to AB 2231, it was proposed that there could be imposed a separate civil penalty for an underlying violation that resulted in the imposition of a larger civil penalty.  For example, if absence of supervision resulted in the death of a resident, the previous proposal would have allowed for the imposition of a civil penalty for the death of the resident as well as a civil penalty for absence of supervision.  As a result of 6Beds’ advocacy, AB 2231 would only allow for the imposition of the higher civil penalty amount.  No double dipping.

Thanks again to everyone for their support and stay tuned for more updates on this bill as 6Beds works diligently to improve upon the bill.

Regards,

George Kutnerian

Advocacy

You Must Be Counted!

Serious about being a California residential care provider? Do you wish to keep your care home — your livelihood — and preserve the vital services you provide to our elderly community or the developmentally disabled and mentally ill? Do you wish to earn more for the essential services you provide to your residents or ensure that your rates remain comparable with the ever changing labor laws?

If you answered yes to any of these, THEN YOU MUST BE COUNTED!

Fellow Residential Care Provider,

You can learn all that you need to manage your care home and stay compliant with all industry laws and regulations, but if the laws you learn and comply with serve to undermine your bottom line, then all your efforts — however pertinent to your care home’s success — are meaningless.

You see, without a strong political influence and representation at the State Capitol, then our care homes are subject to ignorant and/or indifferent lawmakers, government agencies and special interest groups who propose, pass and enforce laws that may serve to dismantle or take away the essential services we provide to our residents. As you may have witnessed in recent months and in the past couple of years, unchecked laws and proposed amendments can have harmful repercussions to everyone in our industry — with many of our colleagues closing their care homes.

Today, there is no one organization more invested, more in tune and more qualified to protect and effectively advocate for our industry than 6Beds. No one. No other residential care-based organization in California compares to 6Beds in function, purpose, membership, leadership, political influence and might. None. (Click to learn more.)

As a stakeholder in our industry’s top governing agencies — DSS, DDS and DOL — 6Beds ensures that no government agencies or special interest groups will propose new laws that impact our care homes without our review and input. Vice-versa, we can now effectively propose new laws (bills) to positively affect our industry. (Click to learn more.)

That said, while membership dues fund 6Beds’ vital lobbying and advocacy work, the dollars our members commit along with the facilities they represent — speak volumes to the lawmakers, governing agencies and special interest groups, that we are dead serious about protecting our residential care industry. That above all, in solidarity with our colleagues, we are no longer silent, unaccounted nor complacent when unjust laws threaten the economic sustainability of our care homes.

Though 6Beds membership boasts almost 2000 care homes and growing, imagine what we could all accomplish together — if all residential care providers step up and have their membership and the facilities they represent, counted: we could vastly change the political landscape of the residential care industry and ensure continued prosperity to our care homes and the essential services we provide to our residents for years to come. Seriously think about that for a moment.

Fellow provider, rather than ask what a 6Beds membership can do for you, ask instead what your membership can do for our residential care industry. The bottom line is that your membership does not empower nor enrich 6Beds to its own end, but rather — through 6Beds — your membership represents a visible and tangible commitment that serves to protect and advance the needs of the residential care industry where it matters — at the Capitol.

It is our sincere and profound hope that all residential care providers join 6Beds to achieve what it stands and fights for: the survival and continued prosperity of our beloved residential care industry and the quality of life of the elderly, developmentally disabled and mentally ill we care for. While your membership is optional, it is mandatory and critical to strengthen and maintain our growing political might over those who wish to dismantle or take over the vital services we provide to our residents.

Apathy and indifference are not an option if we wish to do business and succeed in California as bona fide residential care providers.

So please, join us.

Make your membership count and have your membership counted.

If we don’t come together and contribute to fight for our care homes’ survival, then who will?

Want to learn more?

Read, 6 Reasons to Join or Renew your 6Beds Membership.

Want to do more?

Join your colleagues rally and lobby at the Capitol on April 12, 2016, to protect and advance our residential care industry (click to learn more).

With sincere respect,

6Beds Board of Directors
Gina Wasdyke, MBA
Founder, Director, RCFE & ARF Operator
Ronald Simpson, MBA, PhD
SoCal President, Director, RCFE Operator
Bruce Winstead, Esq
Director, RCFE Operator
George Kutnerian, MBA, M.S.
Director, RCFE Operator