ARF, Events, RCFE

Free RCFE/ARF Labor Training Coming to San Diego

Due to popular demand, 6Beds will be holding an additional FREE Training Workshop in San Diego on Friday, November 15.  Seating is limited.  RSVP today to reserve your spot in this FREE training opportunity.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2019 | 8:30 AM – 5 PM
FREE ADMISSION

8:30 AM – 5 PM
3 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos,CA  92069

>> REGISTER ONLINE TODAY

 

ARF, Events, RCFE

Mark Your Calendars: 2019 ARF & RCFE Annual Conference & Gala

The 2019 ARF & RCFE Annual Conference & Gala Awards Banquet will be August 30-31 in Southern California.  Admission is FREE to attend the day-long conference and Gala Award are $70/per person.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2019 | 7:30 AM – 5 PM
FREE ADMISSION

Brea Community Center
695 East Madison Way
Brea, CA

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2019 | 5:30 – 12 AM
GALA BANQUET TICKET $70/PERSON

Sheraton Cerritos
12725 Center Court Drive
Cerritos, CA 90703

>> REGISTER ONLINE TODAY

 

Advocacy, All Posts, RCFE

Governor’s Budget Proposes Adding 2,000 Slots to the Assisted Living Waiver Program – 6Beds Advocacy Efforts Paying Off

by George Kutnerian
As many of you may be aware, the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) program reached its capacity of 3,700 slots in March of 2017 and has since been operating with a waitlist that is now fast approaching 3,000 individuals.

Governor’s Budget Proposes Adding 2,000 Slots to Assisted Living Waiver Program -- 6Beds Advocacy Efforts Paying Off

6Beds has been advocating for an expansion to the ALW program since last year’s Advocacy Day in spring of 2017.

Since then, in its efforts to expand and improve the ALW, 6Beds has joined a broad coalition that includes LeadingAge CA, California Assisted Living Association, Alzheimer’s Association, The SCAN Foundation, California Hospital Association, the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association, and Justice in Aging.

This broad coalition had been advocating to the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Finance for an expansion of the ALW.  The Governor’s proposal to add 2,000 slots to the ALW is a significant first step towards expanding the ALW.  We will keep you posted on how the proposal to add 2,000 slots to the ALW progresses through the budget process.  Even if approved, the addition of the 2,000 slots would not be operational until at least this summer as the Department of Health Care Services will be required to apply for a waiver amendment with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Stay tuned for updates.

Advocating for expanding and improving the ALW is a part of 6Beds’ 2018 Advocacy Day agenda.

Please join us for Advocacy Day in Sacramento on April 11, 2018 at the California Chamber of Commerce, beginning at 8AM.

Click here to learn more.

Best,

George K. Kutnerian
Senior Vice President
Public Policy & Legislation

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, RCFE

CCL To Make Significant Changes to Inspection Process – 6Beds Calling for Greater Consistency and Transparency

by George Kutnerian
Community Care Licensing (CCL) has announced that it intends to make significant changes to the inspection process in an effort to improve the effectiveness and quality of that process.  6Beds has been invited by CCL to provide feedback on how its new inspection process vision gets implemented in the field.  6Beds is stressing that the new inspection process be more consistent and transparent.

6Beds attended a first meeting with CCL in December, 2017 and will be attending a second meeting with CCL in March, 2018 to further discuss the rollout of the inspection process.  CCL anticipates piloting the new inspection process this spring and 6Beds will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Best Regards,
George K. Kutnerian
Senior Vice President
Public Policy & Legislation
6Beds, Inc.

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