Advocacy, All Posts, Issues, RCFE

WATCH: 6Beds’ Senate Human Services Committee Testimony In Opposition to Complainant Appeal Process

Hopefully, as a licensee you’ve never had to deal with a complaint against your facility, but if you have been a licensee long enough the odds are that at some point you’ve had a complaint made against your facility.  When a Licensing Program Analyst (LPA) comes to your facility to inform you that a complaint has been made against your facility, you probably get that feeling of a pit in your stomach.  When you work hard and do your best to please your residents and their families while maintaining compliance only to learn that a complaint has been filed against your facility, it can be a very deflating experience.
Blog - Complainant Appeal Process - Photo

Dealing with complaints can take up valuable time, cost you money, and be emotionally draining.  When you’re in the midst of a complaint investigation, what you’re probably looking forward to most is getting it behind you as fast as possible and, most importantly, with a favorable result.  If you get to the end of a complaint investigation with an “Inconclusive” or, better yet, an “Unfounded” result, you probably get that feeling that you can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief.  Well, what if I told you that as licensees we had to live in a world where a complainant, which is the party that made the complaint, could file an appeal if they were dissatisfied with Community Care Licensing’s (CCL) investigation findings?  Imagine getting that “Inconclusive” or “Unfounded” result and just as you’re in the midst of breathing that deep sigh of relief, you learn that the complainant has appealed your favorable investigation finding and that feeling of being able to breathe a deep sigh of relief has just reverted back to that feeling of having a pit in your stomach.  Well, that was almost our reality as of January 1, 2016 had 6Beds not intervened to have AB 1387 amended prior to its passage.

The June 25, 2015 version of AB 1387 included a two-level complainant appeal process that could potentially extend the complaint investigation process by 120 business days.  Keep in mind that I’m referring to 120 business days, which translates to a complainant appeal process that could last between five and six calendar months.

6Beds took decisive action when it learned of the proposed complainant appeal process in AB 1387.  In addition to writing a comment letter to the office of AB 1387’s author, Assembly Member Kansen Chu, I testified on behalf of 6Beds before the Senate Human Services Committee on July 14, 2015 in order to voice 6Beds’ concerns regarding the proposed complainant appeal process.  6Beds’ part of the testimony begins at the 4:52 mark and the entire AB 1387 hearing is 11:31 long.  However, I encourage you to watch the entire video in order to get full context.

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) was the primary supporter of the complainant appeal process.  CANHR is the same group that sponsored the RCFE Reform Act of 2014.  6Beds’ position on the version of AB 1387 that included the complainant appeal process was “oppose unless amended”.  Not even the California Assisted Living Association (CALA), which represents many of the largest assisted living companies, opposed the version of the bill that included the complainant appeal process.

6Beds’ comment letter, testimony before the Senate Human Services Committee, and the aggressive advocacy of 6Beds’ lobbyists before and after the Senate Human Services Committee hearing played a significant role in the complainant appeal process being removed from the final version of AB 1387.  Read AB 1387 – Complainant Appeal Process for the portion of the final version of AB 1387 compared to the June 25, 2015 version that shows in red strikethrough the removal of the complainant appeal process from the bill.

The entirety of the June 25, 2015 version of AB 1387 was not detrimental to RCFE licensees.  In fact, the bill did contain important licensee appeal process reforms, which 6Beds strongly supported and even made improvements to that were incorporated into the final version of the bill.  However, where others took the easy position of compromising to accept the complainant appeal process in exchange for a reformed licensee appeal process, 6Beds took the more aggressive, but calculated approach of advocating for a bill that contained licensee appeal reforms without introducing a new and cumbersome complainant appeal process.

In a future blog post, I’ll address the new licensee appeal process that the final version of AB 1387 gave effect to on January 1, 2016.

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

Newly Sworn in Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon Announces Assembly Floor Leadership Team

New Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) announced his floor leadership team effective March 10, 2016.

The Assembly Democratic leadership appointments are as follows:

 

Speaker pro Tempore – Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco)

Assistant Speaker pro Tempore – Assemblymember Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood)

Majority Floor Leader – Assemblymember Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier)

Assistant Majority Floor Leader – Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove)

Majority Whip – Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles)

Democratic Whip – Assemblymember Nora Campos (D-San Jose)

Assistant Majority Whip – Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley)

Democratic Caucus Chair – Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson)

 

6Beds will continue to provide updates on new developments as it pertains to legislative leadership in Sacramento.

All Posts, RCFE

Download CCL’s New Resident Personal Rights Document: Compliance with AB 2171

Community Care Licensing (CCL) recently published Personal Rights – LIC613C-2, which incorporates the Resident’s Bill of Rights that was added to the Health & Safety Code by AB 2171 in addition to the personal rights in Title 22 regulations that were already found in CCL’s previous Personal Rights document.  AB 2171 was a part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014 and took effect on January 1, 2015.  However, until the publishing of the Personal Rights – LIC613C-2 form this year, licensees had to come up with their own Personal Rights document and posting to comply with AB 2171.

AB 2171 requires licensees to advise and provide a copy of the rights in the Resident’s Bill of Rights and the personal rights in Title 22 regulations.  Licensees must have each resident and resident’s representative sign and date a copy of the resident’s rights and the licensee must include a signed and dated copy in the resident’s record.  The licensee must post a copy of the resident’s rights in the facility and must also post these rights in other languages when five percent or more of the residents can only read that other language.

The Personal Rights – LIC613C-2 form should help licensees comply with the requirements of AB 2171.

Advocacy, All Posts, Issues, RCFE

A Sneak Peek Into CCL’s Upcoming RCFE Medication Management Best Practices Guide

6Beds met with CCL in Sacramento on March 2, 2016 to review and discuss a draft copy of its upcoming RCFE medication management best practices guide for RCFEs.  I attended the meeting in person on behalf of 6Beds and was accompanied via teleconference by fellow 6Beds leader, Cyndy Minnery, R.N.

Here’s a sneak peek at what topics you can expect CCL’s upcoming RCFE medication management guide will cover:

General Guidance:

  • Designation of Staff to Handle and Store Medication
  • New Arrivals with Medication and Refills
  • Medication Placed on Hold, Expired or Resident Dies
  • Medication is Refused, Missed, or Needs to Be Crushed or Altered
  • Medication Set Up, Home Visits, and Medication from Other Countries
  • Medication Destruction

Guidance for Specific Medications

  • PRN Medication
  • Injectable Medications
  • Narcotics
  • Hospice
  • Ear and Eye Drops or Nasal Sprays and Over-the-Counter Medications
  • Emergency Medication
  • Pre-Packaged Medications, Sample Medications, PRN Medication, and Psychotropic Medications
  • Medication Training

6Beds provided significant feedback regarding a number of areas addressed in the draft copy of the guide that we feel will result in positive developments for RCFE licensees that will be reflected in the final version of the guide.

Stay tuned for updates regarding these developments and information regarding the release of the guide.

Advocacy, All Posts, ARF, Issues, RCFE

CCL Announces that Complaint Investigation Reports Being Posted to Transparency Website – 6Beds Meets with CCL Regarding Concerns

Community Care Licensing (CCL) announced on February 26, 2016 that on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 it would begin online posting of Complaint Investigation Reports (LIC 9099s), making them available for public online consumption for the first time via its Transparency Website.

Given that 6Beds has become aware of a number of inconsistencies in practice, it has not been entirely clear as to what CCL’s policies are regarding whether a Complaint Investigation Report is classified as either “Public” or “Confidential”  based on either the completion status of the investigation or the actual investigation findings.  For example, for Complaint Investigation Reports that are not yet completed and where the reports identify that further investigation is required, 6Beds is aware of some of these reports being labeled as “Confidential”, some of them being labeled as “Public”, and some of them not being labeled at all.  However, all complaint investigations that are not yet completed should be marked “Confidential” until a resolution is reached.

In general, 6Beds is not opposed to the idea of information being available for public consumption.  However, the public should be entitled only to information that is legitimately and legally “Public” and the availability of information should not come at the expense of accuracy, consistency, and fairness.  Earlier this week, 6Beds formally registered its concerns regarding this issue with CCL and has sought clarification regarding its policies.

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, CCL Deputy Director Pam Dickfoss and Statewide Adult and Senior Care Program Administrator Ley Arquisola were kind enough to meet with me to discuss 6Beds’ concerns and to provide clarification.  In this meeting, CCL was able to confirm the following:

  • Complaint Investigation Reports that indicate that further investigation is required should be marked “Confidential” and not posted to the Transparency Website until a resolution is reached.
  • For RCFEs, all Complaint Investigation Reports with approved complaint findings, even if the findings are “Inconclusive” or “Unfounded”, are to be marked “Public”. This is an area that has been a source of confusion for RCFE licensees as many RCFE licensees have been under the impression that “Unfounded” complaint findings are to be labeled “Confidential,” which would make sense.  However, CCL has clarified that based on statute all approved complaint findings for RCFEs are “Public”.
  • For ARF licensees, however, “Unfounded” complaint findings are “Confidential”. “Inconclusive” and “Substantiated” complaint findings are “Public”.
  • Only Complaint Investigation Reports with complaint findings approved after January 1, 2016 will be posted to the Transparency Website. This is positive news because the inconsistencies that 6Beds is aware of are from before January 1, 2016 and 6Beds, therefore, was concerned that Complaint Investigation Reports with complaint findings issued prior to January 1, 2016 would be posted to the Transparency Website.

CCL has also committed to producing a document explaining these policies, which I will distribute once it’s made available.  6Beds is also working internally and with CCL on a process whereby licensees can report to 6Beds any inconsistencies or inaccuracies related to confidential Complaint Investigation Reports inappropriately being labeled “Public” and posted to the Transparency Website.  The inquiries from licensees would then be vetted by 6Beds and forwarded directly to CCL headquarters for review and follow-up.

Stay tuned for updates on this issue as they become available.