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Come & Unite to Save the RCFE & ARF Communities – March 2015 Town Hall Meetings

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WHEN
Monday, March 9, 2015
1 PM – 4 PM
WHERE
Hospice by the Bay
17 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Larkspur, CA 94939
QUESTIONS
Please contact Olivia Deanda at (650) 787-9742 (odeanda@6beds.org)


WHEN
Thursday, March 12, 2015
9 AM – 3 PM
WHERE
Pleasant Hill Community Center
320 Civic Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Earn 3 hours of continuing education units* (CEU); provided by Gentiva Hospice

We have great speakers lined up for you:

Angela Collins, RN, HPN,CHA,MBA
TOPIC End of Life

Dr. Eric Smith
TOPIC Dementia

We will also discuss and strategize for 6Beds’ upcoming March 17, 2015, rally at the State Capitol. This is a “do or die” for many of us care providers as California’s labor laws and upcoming new liability insurance mandates are severely crippling our ability to provide the best care for our residents — forcing many of our fellow providers to close their doors, permanently. Please join us and help preserve our industry.

QUESTIONS
Please contact Janet Baena V. at (415) 250 – 6923 or Gina Licup at (925) 719-1548

*3 hours of CEUs are FREE to 6Beds, Inc. members only.

 

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Wage & Hour Division and 6Beds to Work Together to Establish a Compliance Model Revolving Around the Live-In Caregiver Model for 2015

On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 6Beds leaders, Gina Wasdyke, Joy Dela Torre, Janet Valencia, Ron Simpson, George Kutnerian, and Maria Garfinkle, along with prominent labor attorney, Michael Lotito of Littler Mendelson, and lobbyist, Robert Naylor, met with the U.S. Wage and Hour Division’s District Director Susana Blanco and Assistant District Director Michael Eastwood at the Division’s San Francisco district office to explore solutions to the labor issues crippling the small home residential care industry.

Labor auditors over the last few years have shown a high rate of non-compliance among small home residential care facilities according to Eastwood and Blanco.  6Beds pointed out that part of the problem has been auditors’ lack of understanding of the nuances of the live-in caregiver model, which is the foundation of the small home residential care industry and is supported by 29 CFR 785.23 (Homeworker Exception) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

That being said, District Director Blanco expressed that the Wage & Hour Division is willing to work with 6Beds to establish a fair and equitable compliance model that revolves around the live-in caregiver model while adhering to applicable labor laws.  To that end, the compliance model will consist of a reasonable agreement  between staff and operator based on the live-in model and will include necessary supporting documentation (i.e. time-sheets, etc.).  The compliance model will address both actual hours worked and employee living accommodations in the context of the live-in caregiver model within a small home.  For the time being, however, both Blanco and Eastwood stated that they will continue with enforcement plans that are already in place.  We will, however, have a momentary reprieve with the holiday season upon us.

Both Blanco and Eastwood recognize that residential care homes play a vital role in serving the frail elderly and developmentally disabled adults. They were both very receptive to the idea that the development of a compliance model could help address current labor issues, especially if adopted across the entire small home residential care industry.

To expedite this process of compliance, both parties agreed to a follow up dialogue on January, 15, 2015, at which time 6Beds will present an initial draft of the compliance model written by Littler’s Tammy McCutchen, former U.S. Wage & Hour Administrator.  6Beds will also do the same with California’s DIR (Labor) to ensure that the new compliance model meets both federal and state labor regulations.

The Wage & Hour Division indicated that once a pattern of compliance is established in our industry, the random audits should slow down.

While it’s clear and evident that our voices are being heard, and a solution (compliance model) is in the works, compliance needs to be statewide in order for audits to subside.  With that said, we urge every small home residential care provider (2 beds to 99 beds) to join 6Beds and help the industry in its journey to a labor compliance model that will preserve the live-in caregiver model and the economic viability of small home residential care providers—that serve the frail elderly and developmentally disabled adults.

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Who we are and our meteoric ascent…

Fellow care home provider,

We are 6Beds, Inc., comprised of dedicated care home providers such as you, who are deeply concerned that the current California legislation and labor laws may eventually lessen our capacity to provide the best care for our residents and ultimately erode the viability of our small business.

The recent 2014 RCFE Reform Act—authored to revamp our industry’s directives—along with current federal and California labor laws, have already forced over 500 homes to close since early this year. Today, with over 11,000 six-bed care homes throughout California, our industry provides care to over 37,000 elderly and over 26,000 developmentally disabled adults.

With our industry forecasted to grow exponentially over the next two decades, you can expect more proposed regulatory legislation that may infringe on how we conduct our business. According to Ken Smith, a director at the Stanford Center of Longevity, by the year 2032, Americans over age sixty-five will outnumber those under age fifteen—making up a huge chunk of the marketplace.

To that end, many of your fellow care home providers banded together and formed 6Beds, Inc. on July 1st of this year. As a nonprofit, mutually benefit advocacy group registered with the State of California, we promote safe and affordable quality care for California seniors and disabled adults in a home-like environment. We advocate and educate on behalf of California’s vulnerable residents by uniting senior and adult care facilities throughout the state.

Since our inception we have trail blazed a path for our industry never before seen in California’s history. Today—in a very short time—our lawmakers and politicians are listening to us. More than that, we are impacting key legislation in our industry. As the only recognized stakeholder representing RCFE and ARF residential care homes by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Labor (DOL), our influence—your influence—has never been more impactful in California’s legislative body than it is today.

With that in mind, we must work collectively to refine the 2014 RCFE Reform Act that has just passed, specifically to recall

  1. the Death Refund Bill,
  2. the requirement to maintain a one-to-three million commercial liability policy and
  3. the significantly higher civil penalties that is unproportional to six bed facilities relative to the larger assisted living facilities.

Furthermore, we have engaged California’s labor department in a dialogue, and we strive to do the same with the federal labor department to

  1. halt the labor auditor’s aggressive labor compliance investigations, and
  2. curtail their application of exorbitant monetary penalties, until the confusion surrounding these issues is resolved.

Our aim is to draft legislation that supports the live-in model in order to preserve the continuity of care within the residential care facilities.

That being said, we need your help.

We urge you to join our fast-growing group—actually, your group—of over 1,000 licensed care homes, statewide (whether as a member and/or as an active participant in our rallies, events, discussions, etc.) as we march forward into the future to insure that the level of care we provide will always be available to our elders and adults with developmental disabilities.

Only by coming together, can our voices be heard and our rights preserved. Our cause must be constantly represented and at the top of our lawmakers’ minds as they promulgate new laws—shaping the landscape of our industry to come. It is imperative that we set all our differences and indifferences aside, for we are all on the same side. We all want what is best for our industry and for those whom we serve.

Your membership and participation through 6Beds will insure that our ability to provide the best care for our residents will remain protected amidst unpredictable economic climate and unforeseeable social changes. 6Beds is our immutable voice—your voice—in California’s ever-changing and equally diverse political sphere.

With each new member our collective voice grows louder and our legislative impact, stronger.

6Beds, Inc. Milestones

Through 6Beds, our reputation and public perception changed overnight from mostly timid immigrants—who barely spoke English—to intelligent, educated and articulate small care home owners. Our governor, state legislators, Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Labor (DOL) are listening to us and finally taking us seriously as a stakeholder in our industry. With the help of your dedicated, fellow care home providers, here is how we did it:

  • On July 1, 2014, 6Beds, Inc. was registered as a non-profit, mutual benefit corporation, with the State of California.
  • On August 1, 2014, with 6Beds’ board of directors and team leaders in place, we
    • hired 3 political lobbyists registered with the Secretary of State. They are:
      1. Atty. Robert Naylor, a Stanford and Yale graduate and a former assembly member of San Mateo,
      2. Roxanne Gould, a seasoned lobbyist, and
      3. Tricia Hunter, a registered nurse and currently the executive director of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and also a former CA assembly member;
    • hired Beth Miller Group, a well-respected public relations team in Sacramento;
    • hired an accountant and an in-house lawyer that specializes in non-profit organizations.
  • On August 5, 2014, 6Beds—backed by over 500 statewide care providers—lobbied for the first time at the California State Capitol. As a result, many amendments were added to the seventeen bills comprising the 2014 RCFE Reform Act. (Read all about it here: http://6beds.org/rcfe-reform-act-of-2014/)
  • On September 23, 2014, 6Beds directors and leaders had its first strategic planning meeting with California Regional Manager of Labor, Benny Cheng, to discuss labor issues within our industry. From this point forward, the California’s Department of Labor (DOL) recognized 6Beds, Inc. as the only stakeholder representing Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) and Adult Residential Facility (ARF) residential care homes.
  • On October 1, 2014, the San Francisco-based, Philippine Consulate, invited and met with 6Beds leaders to discuss California’s labor laws and its negative impact on the six-bed residential care homes.
  • On October 21, 2014—represented by 25 key leaders statewide—6Beds leaders met with DSS Deputy Chief Pam Dickfoss, and RCFE and ARF Administrator, Mary Jolls. From this point forward, California’s Department of Social Services (DSS) recognized 6Beds, Inc. as the only stakeholder representing RCFE and ARF residential care homes.
  • On October 29, 2014, with less than one week of planning, 6Beds sponsored a labor rally: Let’s Talk Labor at the State Capitol. Over 300 statewide care providers attended to show their support. Along with them, various caregivers also attended to show their support. For the very first time, care providers came forward to share their labor-related experiences.
  • On November 14, 2014, 6Beds leaders met with DSS statewide regional managers, to initiate partnership and collaboration on many projects to improve the residential care system.
  • On November 19, 2014, 6Beds hired Littler Law Firm (one of our nation’s top labor and employment law firms) to help guide and navigate our course of action when dealing with California’s Labor Department to address labor laws that cripple our industry.

As we gain momentum, our tireless efforts continue…

  • Along with Littler Law Firm, 6Beds leaders will start negotiations with California’s Department of Labor.
  • Upcoming meeting with DDS’s Santi Rogers will start the dialogue on issues surrounding DD.
  • Dialogue with Federal Department of Labor is confirmed to start second week of December.

Learn More

  • To learn more about the RCFE Reform Act of 2014 and how 6Beds helped to amend its seventeen bills, click here.
  • To learn more about our ongoing advocacy work, click here.
  • To stay in touch with our advocacy work, follow our blog (click here).

Wishing you continued success,

Your colleagues at 6Beds

Gina Wasdyke, MBA
Founder and Director, RCFE & ARF Provider
Jocelyn Dela Torre, RN
Co-Founder and Director, RCFE Provider
Janet Baena Valencia, RN
Northern California President and Director, RCFE Provider
Ron Simpson, PhD, MBA
Sourthern California President and Director, RCFE Provider

Advocacy, All Posts

NorCal 6Beds President, Janet Baena Valencia and County Leader, Gina Licup, Invite ARF and RCFE Multi-Facility Owners In Contra Costa County To Come Together

They too joined 6Beds!!! A similar membership drive also occurred in other parts of the State, including Central Valley (Fresno), where 11 homes joined. With new membership our voice gets louder, our clout gets bigger and our fight to save this industry gets stronger!