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Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Elder Abuse, Legislation Affecting Seniors, Long-term Care, Senior Health, Seniors First San Diego, Sharon Lee | 0 comments

ELA Supports the RCFE Reform Act of 2014

Elder Law & Advocacy recognizes the overwhelming need to strengthen oversight and regulation of RCFEs.

What is a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE)?

  • Also known as an assisted living facility, retirement home, and board and care home.
  • Provides services to persons 60 years of age and over and persons under 60 with compatible needs.
  • Supervises and assists with activities of daily living, such as bathing and grooming.
  • May provide incidental medical services under special care plans.
  • Ranges in size from six beds or less to over 100 beds.
  • Over 174,000 California residents live in over 7,500 RCFEs.

Critical Health and Safety Issues:

  • Inadequate training for RCFE administrators and care providers.
  • Infrequent inspections of facilities.
  • Uninformed residents and families.
  • Unresponsive and insufficient investigations of complaints involving abuse of residents.
  • Paltry, disproportionate fines for violations.
  • No accountability for RCFEs that break the rules.
  • Lack of public transparency as to deficiencies, complaints, civil penalties, licensing, facility ownership.

What is the RCFE Reform Act of 2014?

The RCFE Reform Act of 2014 consists of 12 bills which tackle potentially life-threatening health and safety concerns faced by RCFE residents and their families in California.

What the Proposed Legislation Addresses:

  • Administrator and Staff Training: requires increased training hours for administrators and direct care staff and a new training requirement for direct care staff serving at-risk residents;
  • Annual Inspections: requires unannounced, comprehensive, and annual inspections;
  • Ban on Admissions: prevents non-compliant RCFEs from admitting new residents into their facilities;
  • Resident Bill of Rights: creates statutory bill of rights for residents which address visitation, privacy, confidentiality, freedom from abuse and restraint, among other rights;
  • Complaint Investigations: requires investigation of complaints within 24 hours and completion of highest priority complaints within 30 days;
  • Family Councils: requires RCFEs to notify prospective family members about their rights to form Family Councils to protect resident rights;
  • Increased Fines: raises the maximum fine from $150 to $1000 when RCFEs violate laws;
  • Licensee Ownership Disclosure: requires complete disclosure of prior and current ownership of any type of facility, including history of compliance or non-compliance;
  • Online Consumer Information System: establishes an on-line information system showing specific and updated information regarding licenses, ownership, complaints, violations, and enforcement;
  • Resident Councils: requires RCFEs to notify prospective residents about their rights to form Resident Councils to protect resident rights;
  • Staffing for Higher Acuity: requires RCFEs to employ trained medical personnel if they accept and retain residents who need hospice care, have catheters, colostomies, and other compromised health conditions;
  • Suspension and Revocation: improves procedures for RCFE licenses suspensions and creates timelines to safely relocate residents when a facility’s license has been revoked.

Contact

For more information about the RCFE Act of 2014, please contact Elder Law & Advocacy and California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), a statewide long-term care advocacy and service organization. (800) 474-1116. www.canhr.org.

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