2013-14 Bill Report

CA CapitolBelow is a list of our priority bills in California for the 2013-2014 legislative session.   Thank you for taking an interest in these important pieces of legislation.  To read more about a specific bill, please visit the California State Legislature website.

(Updated October 16, 2013)

AB 140 (Dickinson) – Undue influence
Summary:  This bill would change the definition of undue influence to mean excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting and results in inequity.  Consideration of undue influence shall include the vulnerability of the victim (including incapacity, illness, disability, age, impaired cognitive function, and dependency), the influencer’s apparently authority, the actions or tactics used by the influencer, and the equity of the result.

Recent amendments add language specifying that consideration will also be given to whether the influencer knew, or should have known, of the victim’s vulnerability.  The June 14th amendment removes this clause.

Status:  Signed by Governor on October 9, 2013

AB 247 (Wagner) – Personal income taxes: voluntary contribution: California Fund for Senior Citizens
Summary:  This bill would extend the sunset date of the California Fund for Senior Citizens tax check-off from January 1, 2015, to January 1, 2020.

Status:  Signed by Governor on October 9, 2013

AB 261 (Chesbro) – Residential Care Facilities: Elderly: Fees: Charges
Summary:  This bill would prohibit a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) from requiring advance notice for terminating an admission agreement upon the death of a resident.  It would also prohibit the facility from assessing any fees once all personal property of the deceased is removed.

Status:  Signed by Governor on September 9, 2013

AB 394 (Yamada and Grove) – Personal income tax: voluntary contributions: Alzheimer’s disease
Summary: This bill would extend the California Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Research Fund tax check-off, from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2020.  The Alzheimer’s Association is the sponsor of this bill.

Status:  Signed by Governor on October 9, 2013

AB 477 (Chau) – Elder and dependent adult abuse: mandated reporting
Summary:  This bill would include notaries public in the definition of mandated reporters of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult and would require a notary public to report known or suspected instances of financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult.  It would also prohibit them from performing notarial acts for an elder or dependent adult when:

  • The adult has a demeanor that causes the notary to have compelling doubt about whether the individual understands the consequences of the transaction; or
  • In the notary’s judgment, the individual is not acting of his or her own free will.

(Recent amendments remove the language specifying that the notaries may not perform notarial acts in the instances listed above).

Status:  Vetoed by Governor on October 9, 2013

AB 518 (Yamada) – Community-based adult services
Summary:  This bill establishes the Community-Based Adult Services program as a Medi-Cal benefit. It requires providers to meet specified requirements and requires the Department of Health Care Services to only certify and enroll new providers that are exempt from taxation as a nonprofit entity.

Recent amendments additionally require that adult day health care centers comply with specified staffing requirements, maintain policies and procedures for providing supportive health care services to participants, and conduct and document training.

Staffing requirements include an on duty administrator or director at all times, a ratio of one registered nurse for every 40 participants, and an additional half-time licensed vocational nurse for every 10 additional participants over 40.  Staffing requirements shall be set based on the average daily attendance of the center during the previous quarter.

Training requirements include an initial orientation for new staff, review of all updated policies and procedures, instruction regarding new equipment, and regular updates regarding state/federal requirements on abuse reporting, fire safety, etc.  Amended language also specifies that trainings shall occur quarterly.

Status:  Held in Senate Health Committee

AB 559 (Gordon) – Residential care facilities for the elderly
Summary:  This bill adds to the list of facilities that are exempt from regulation as a residential care facility for the elderly a home or facility approved and annually reviewed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a medical foster home.

Status:  Held in Assembly Human Services Committee

AB 620 (Buchanan) – Health and care facilities: missing patients and participants
Summary:  This bill would requires specified health facilities, including various kinds of intermediate care facilities, congregate living health facilities, and nursing facilities, community care facilities offering adult day programs; and adult day health care centers to develop, implement, comply with, and review annually a safety plan for the purpose of addressing the issues that arise when a patient or participant is missing from the facility.

Recent amendments add residential care facilities for the elderly to the list of specified health facilities.  Amendments also clarify that this plan can either be a stand-alone plan or incorporated into existing plans and procedures.

Most recent amendments strike the “or a safety plan” language, and specify that facilities are only required to develop the notification plan.

Status:  Signed by Governor on October 9, 2013

AB 753 (Lowenthal) – Cognitively Impaired Adults: Resource Centers
Summary:  This bill would update statutes relating to the Caregiver Resource Centers program.  Among other things, this bill would:

  • Replace the term “brain impairment” with “cognitive impairment” and state that this term shall refer to things such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc.
  • Define a “cognitively impaired adult” as a person 18 or older who has cognitive impairment.
  • Define a caregiver as an unpaid family member or individual who assumes responsibility for the care of a cognitively impaired adult.
  • Update the statutes to reflect that the program is now administered by the Department of Health Care Services.

Recent amendments add language that specified the director of DHCS will only enter into contracts directly with nonprofit CRCs.  It also add language that defines “respite care” as substitute care or supervision in support of the caregiver for the purposes of providing relief from the stresses of providing constant care, and that this care may be provided in the home or in an out-of home setting, such as day care centers.

Status:  Signed by Governor on October 10, 2013

AB 776 (Yamada) – Medi-Cal
Summary:  This bill would add area agencies on aging and independent living centers to the list of specified stakeholders for the Governor’s Coordinated Care Initiative.

Status:  Signed by Governor on September 9, 2013

AB 900 (Alejo) – Medi-Cal: reimbursement: distinct part nursing facilities
Summary:  This bill would exempt skilled nursing facilities that are a distinct part of a general acute care hospital from the 10% across-the-board cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, which was instituted with the passage of AB 97 in 2012.  The bill has an urgency statute, and would take effect immediately.

Amendments state that the reimbursement rates, to the extent permissible under federal law, shall also not apply to specified Medi-Cal provider payments for fee-for service benefits, for services after June 1, 2011.  It also states that the reimbursement reductions not apply to managed health care plans for dates of service after the enactment of the bill.

More recent amendments strike language that excluded Medi-Cal provider payments for fee-for-service benefits from this exclusion.

Status:  Held in Senate Appropriations Committee

AB 973 (Quirk-Silva) – Long-term health facilities: culture change
Summary:  This bill would require the California Department of Public Health to allocate funds from both the State Health Facilities Citation Penalties Account and the Federal Health Facilities Citation Penalties Account for the improvement of quality of care and quality of life for facility residents, as well as for the promotion of culture change.  This bill states that allocations shall not exceed $150,000 annually from the state account and $250,000 from the federal account.

These funds will allow the department to hire a Statewide Culture Change Consultant, who shall serve long-term health care facility stakeholders.  Among other things, this consultant will:

  • Serve as a centralized information repository and clearinghouse of best practices for implementing person-centered care and culture change in long-term health facilities.
  • Develop and conduct training for a variety of long-term health care facility stakeholders; develop and disseminate training materials.
  • Assist the department with data collection regarding the impact of culture change on residents and personnel.
  • Identify opportunities for and conduct conferences for long-term health care facility personnel, residents, families, advocacy organization, educational institutions, community groups, etc.

When referring to culture change, the bill references the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, highlights the focus on person-centered values and practices, and explicitly references “choice, dignity, respect, self-determination, and purposeful living.”

The bill has been amended to implement a four-year time period for this culture change project.  Amendments also state that if the state account balance falls below $8,000,000, that funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program shall receive priority funding.  Additionally, amendments clarify that projects undertaken using federal monies shall have clearly stated desired outcomes, deliverables, and how the project will be evaluated.

Status:  Referred to Assembly Inactive File

AB 974 (Hall) – Patient Transfer
Summary:  This bill requires that prior to a transfer of a patient for a nonmedical reason, a hospital ask the patient if there is an emergency contact person who should be notified, and contact that person and alert him or her about the proposed transfer, and if the patient is not able to respond, that the hospital make a reasonable effort to ascertain the identity of the emergency contact person or the next of kin.

Recent amendments additionally require that any attempts to contact a preferred contact be noted in the medical records of the patient.

Status:  Signed by Governor on October 10, 2013

SB 640 (Lara) – Medi-Cal: Reimbursement: Provider Payments
Summary:  This bill requires the Medi-Cal payments for fee-for-service benefits be determined without the application of the 10% payment reduction in existing law, for dates of service after June 1, 2011.  It requires these payments for skilled nursing facilities, subacute care units that are part of a general acute care hospital, and Medi-Cal payments to managed care health plans are determined without the 10% payment reduction.

Status:  Held in Senate Appropriations Committee

SB 761 (DeSaulnier) – Family Temporary Disability Insurance
Summary:  This bill would provide that it is unlawful for an employer or agent of an employer to discharge or in any other manner to discriminate against an individual because he or she has applied for, used, or indicated an intent to apply for or use, family temporary disability insurance benefits. The bill would provide that an employer or an agent of an employer that violates these provisions shall be liable to an individual affected by the violation for actual damages and appropriate equitable relief, including employment or reinstatement. The bill would also provide that if an employee or applicant brings a civil action seeking these remedies and he or she prevails, the court may award the employee or applicant reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Recent amendments add language to clarify that this requirement only apply to an employer who regularly employs 10 or more individuals.  It also clarifies that this is applicable in instances involving employees who have been employed by that employer for at least 90 working days.

Status:  Referred to Senate Inactive File

SB 770 (Jackson) – Unemployment Compensation: Disability Benefits
Summary:  This bill would expand the scope of the family temporary disability program to include time off to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law, as defined. The bill would also make conforming and clarifying changes in provisions relating to family temporary disability compensation.

Status:  Signed by Governor on September 24, 2013

 

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