WHAT IS THE RCFE REFORM ACT OF 2014: The RCFE Reform Act of 2014 is a set of 14 bills introduced and debated in the 2014 legislative year. 6Beds strongly supports reforms to our sector that will improve patient safety and departmental oversight. However, several of the RCFE Reform Act bills,while well-intentioned, could have disproportionally affected small, six-bed facilities by placing significant financial burdens on these facilities and allowing frivolous lawsuits that could have shutter the doors of many of these facilities.

We engaged with members of the Legislature, the governor’s office and departmental representatives to share our concerns and offer amendments to ensure small six-bed facilities were not disproportionately affected. We are pleased to announce that we successfully advocated for these amendments, most of which were taken prior to bills being sent to the governor.

We look forward to continue working with the Legislature and governor’s office to implement these bills and on future legislation affecting our sector.

PRIORITY LEGISLATION:

AB 2171 (Wiekowski): NEUTRAL AS AMENDED. 6Beds were successful in helping to negotiate recent amendments to remove all private right of action provisions that would have set the stage for shakedown lawsuits in the assisted living community. The remaining provisions of the bill focus on existing resident rights. With these amendments, the bill is now centered on residents rather than attorneys.  This bill was signed by the governor.

AB 1570 (Chesbro): NEUTRAL AS AMENDED. AB 1570 would increase staff training to 40 hours of training in the first year (currently 10 hours in the first 4 weeks), and 20 hours of ongoing training each year (required after the first year). The initial 40 hours of training would be phased in: 20 hours of training would be required before working independently, then the remaining 20 hours would be required within the first four weeks of employment. This bill increases the state-proctored administrator exam to 100 questions (from 40) and requires a yearly update of the exam. The initial dementia care training hours would also be doubled and included in the additional training hours applied to all RCFEs, not just those that advertise dementia care. The most-recent amendments make the bill complementary to SB 911. This bill was signed by the governor.

SB 911 (Block): NEUTRAL AS AMENDED.  SB 911 was amended to address 911 calls, administrator training and certification, staff medication training and training related to postural supports, restricted conditions and hospice. Recent amendments made the provisions of SB 911 complementary to those of AB 1570. This bill was signed by the governor.

AB 2236 (Maienschein and Stone): NEUTRAL AS AMENDED. As originally drafted, this bill was a comprehensive revision of the RCFE civil penalties. While the recent and significant amendments substantially increased fines, which was one of the primary goals of the original legislation, other reforms were removed, including departmental consideration and discretion in the civil penalty process. Most significantly, the recent amendments incorporate every other community care licensing provider type including ARF.  AB 2236 will no longer allow for a civil penalty for a violation that led to a death of a RCFE resident be assessed at an insignificant $150. Other provider types were scaled depending on size of the facility. The 6 bed RCFE and ARF were not scaled. This bill was signed by the governor.

AB 2044 (Rodriguez): SUPPORT AS AMENDED. 6Beds has worked closely with Assemblymember Rodriguez to refine provisions of this bill, which requires at least one CPR-trained staff to be present at all times and a designated lead staff (21 years or older) on site at all times. Recent amendments will allow staff to withhold CPR if the resident has a Do Not Resuscitate order. This bill was signed by the governor.

ADDITIONAL LEGISLATION:

AB 1554 (Skinner): SUPPORT PROPOSED AMENDMENTS. This bill would have changed the way the department investigates complaints about RCFEs and require tighter deadlines for departmental action. This bill failed passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1571 (Eggman): SUPPORT.This bill would have required an online rating system for RCFEs. Amendments adopted in the Senate Human Services Committee reflected the information the department recently made available online to search RCFEs. 6Beds was working to make online information accurate, timely, and easily understandable. This bill failed passage in the Senate Human Services Committee.

AB 1899 (Brown): SUPPORT. This bill prohibits owners who forfeit their license because they abandon the facility or their license is revoked from owning another residential care facility. We STRONGLY support this legislation, which we hope will help eliminate bad actors who abandon or harm their residents. This bill was signed by the governor.

SB 894 (Corbett): NEUTRAL. SB 894 increases the responsibilities of the Department of Social Services when issuing a temporary suspension order or revoking the license of a RCFE. This bill was not taken up prior to the end of session.

SB 895 (Corbett): NEUTRAL AS AMENDED. Recent amendments to SB 895 would require RCFEs to remedy deficiencies within 10 days of notification from the department, unless extended in the plan of correction. This bill would also require the department to post information on its website on how to obtain inspection reports and would state that it’s the intent of the Legislature to make licensing reports available online by January 1, 2020. This bill specifies actions Community Care Licensing Division would be required to take during a license revocation or temporary suspension. Further, SB 895 would require the department to design a poster containing information on “the appropriate reporting agency in case of complaint or emergency.” This would need to be posted in the main entry of the RCFE. This bill was signed by the governor.

SB 1382 (Block): NEUTRAL. This bill increases RCFE licensing fees by 20 percent. This bill was signed by the governor.

AB 1523 (Atkins): OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED. The bill to require all RCFEs to carry liability insurance in the amount of $1 million per occurrence and $3 million in total annual aggregate. 6Beds will work with the author and come up with a risk pool to absorb those facilities that may not get be able to insurance or are dropped by their insurance. This bill was signed by the governor.

SB 1153 (Leno): NEUTRAL. This bill seeks to provide CCLD with the authority to ban new admissions to an RCFE under certain circumstances. This bill was signed by the governor.

3 thoughts on “RCFE Reform Act of 2014

  1. Myrna Miller

    Is there a stipulation of whether a RCEF’s can be operating in a residential community where the CC&R’s of the HOA state the community is considered a single family residence community? Thanks for your feedback.

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    • CC&Rs are placed on a group of homes by a builder, developer, neighborhood association and/or homeowners association. Operating a RCFE is subject to those limitations and rules. There’s nothing in the state regulations nor law to overturn that. If planning to establish a care facility business, It’s advisable to consider a community without a HOA.

      by: Joy Dela Torre

      For some counties that requires business license like in San Leandro, maybe some restrictions are imposed. Different counties, different requirements.

      by: Janet Baena Valencia

      Based on reliable resources, the only community that you can’t operate an RCFE is where there’s a CC&R by an HOA that prohibits it. Pretty much you can open a facility in any community/neighborhood. I know this for a fact because the neighborhood in South San Francisco where one of my facilities is located had a strong neighborhood association that sued a newly opened facility( long before I opened mine). They got counter sued by the facility and lost ( see Health and Safety Code ). That neighborhood association went bankrupt and was dissolved. Even in the most expensive and posh communities like Hillsborough here in the Peninsula ( where homes are in the several millions $ and the US Presidential candidates hold their election fundraising ), the neighbors couldn’t stop my friend from converting her $2M residence into an Intermediate Care Facility for DD. She moved to $5M home in Atherton.

      by: Joy Dela Torre

      There is a federal statute that says six (6) or fewer people (residents) in a home is considered “residential” use of the home. There was a lawsuit by a local HOA in San Clemente in the early 1990’s, when I was starting, to try and prevent a resident form starting an RCFE. They lost because of this federal law. HOA don’t try any more. They cannot prevent it.

      by: Ron Simpson

      Hi Ron. You’re right, it’s in the State Health and safety Code 1569.85 . If it falls under the definition of a family dwelling, it could be done. Only thing is it will cumbersome since you’ll be in a lawsuit with the association. Sure You’ll win but who wants complications when it’s already stressful trying to get licensed? But maybe all HOA ,including the new communities, are aware of this law so they wouldn’t even try.

      by: Joy Dela Torre

      I consulted again Kevin Tom, Ret. CCLD Applications Specialist, who is in our Educational Committee. He said that in new developments where their CC&R specifically prohibits converting the property into a care facility, then the owner is bound to that bylaws. This is like in special communities that are gated. New communities caught up with the changing times. If that’s not in the CC&R, then it can be done.

      by: Joy Dela Torre

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  2. I am in a community with an HOA and some angry home owners who did not want to have ambulances making noise and driving down the street. There was quite a ruckus at an HOA meeting when I started our 6-bed. One homeowner even wasted money to consult a lawyer. The bottom-line question is this: Can an HOA put in the rules (CC&Rs) that elderly people cannot live in the community? Of course it can’t! The exception is if you have more than a six-bed. For larger facilities there will most likely have to be a permit from the city and the city will consider the complaints of neighbors before granting permission.

    I think I am totally correct in all this and if I am wrong on any of it, I trust someone will correct me. Thanks!

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