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Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Legislation Affecting Seniors, Long-term Care, Seniors First San Diego, Sharon Lee |

FACT SHEET: NEW LAW REQUIRES RCFES TO REMEDY DEFICIENCIES

Click here for printable fact sheet: SB 895 (Corbett) Residential care facilities for the elderly

Background: The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) oversees licensing and regulation of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). RCFEs are also known as assisted living facilities, retirement homes, and board and care homes. RCFEs provide housing and services to persons 60 years of age and over and persons under 60 with compatible needs. RCFE employees supervise and assist older adults with activities of daily living, such as bathing.

Old law: CDSS is required to perform random inspections each year on 30% of the RCFE facilities which have had a history of compliance issues and 20% of RCFE facilities which do not have a history of compliance issues. CDSS must visit every RCFE once every 5 years. Any person can request an inspection of any RCFE by submitting an oral or written request. CDSS is required to make a preliminary review and an onsite inspection within 10 days after receiving the complaint. CDSS must conduct a follow-up visit within 10 working days following the latest date of correction.

Issue: News investigations and consumer watchdog groups have uncovered numerous cases in which CDSS inspectors failed to follow through with inspections and other actions. As a result, many seniors have been injured or died. In San Diego alone, more than two dozen seniors have died in recent years under questionable circumstances that were ignored or unpunished by CDSS.

New law: RCFEs must remedy deficiencies within 10 days of DCSS notification. DCSS will post how to obtain an inspection report on the internet. DCSS will design a poster with information on the appropriate reporting agency in case of complaint or emergency, which will be posted at the main entryway of each RCFE.