Brought to You By The Law Offices of Gould and Hahn.
by Jack Rein
The investment you’ve made in your RCFE or ACF is not only for you. And it’s gratifying to know that most of us realize this and are passionate about how we treat our residents. Wonderful people, many who, at the end of their life, have been entrusted to your care. However, unintended violations can occur at any time, even in the most disciplined environments. Some simple reminders of what we can be cited for are always good to keep in mind.
Here is an excerpt from an excellent article called, Put It On My Tab, written by Chrisy Selder and published by CARR:
So, this is how it goes: A facility is inspected and deficiencies are noted. If the facility is even cited for the deficiency, the state evaluator (or LPA) will issue the facility a citation. Depending upon the severity of the deficiency, the LPA can issue a Type A or a Type B citation. Type A citations are defined as deficiencies that, if not corrected, have a direct and immediate risk to those residents in care. Type B citations are defined as deficiencies that, if not corrected, could become an immediate risk to residents. Neither As nor Bs have automatic civil penalties associated with them. Citations ultimately amount to a warning for the facility and a notation in the facility’s state file.
For your reference, here are actual examples of each. Type As: Facility not having enough food for residents, licensee having power of attorney for a resident, a staff who is not a licensed professional is performing insulin injections, etc. Type Bs: Strong urine odor in facility, new mattresses are necessary, expired food items, etc.
Only a few violations require (per regulation) immediate civil penalties. These include (1) failure to secure criminal record clearances for employees, (2) repeating a violation within a 12-month period, (3) sickness, injury or death of a resident as a result of deficiencies within a facility, (4) accessible firearms, ammunition or both, (5) accessible bodies of water, and (6) refused LPA entry to facility or any part of a facility.
If the investigation of an LPA (who is not required to possess medical experience or knowledge) concludes that the sickness, injury or death of a resident has occurred as a result of a deficiency on the part of the facility, then an immediate civil penalty of $150 is assessed (provided the LPA’s manager approves the penalty SEE Mountain Echo article ). Additionally, an LPA may assess $150/day per violation until the deficiency is corrected [Title 22 § 87761(c)(1)].
Now, it is a given that these penalties will dramatically increase and very soon, given the recent publicity about an RCFE operator who, inadvertently or not, caused a resident’s death through negligence. It is our collective responsibility to our residents, their families and ourselves to make certain that ANY potential violations be dealt with BEFORE they become a problem. It’s simple common sense that’s good for everyone concerned. Our industry will continue to thrive because of our heightened sense of responsibility.
If you need advice on legal issues or you have questions or concerns about the law governing RCFEs in California, call the Law Offices of Gould and Hahn.
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