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Assisted living changes expected in California

August 27, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Sixteen bills that would have represented the first major overhaul of assisted living in almost 30 years have received a mixed reception by lawmakers in California, according to The California Report by KQED Radio.

The winners, which one assemblywoman said favor holding assisted living facilities (ALFs) responsible rather than the state's Department of Social Services (DSS), include legislation requiring ALFs to obtain liability insurance, which is awaitng the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown. He recently signed a bill requiring ALFs to permit residents to form and sustain resident councils.

The losers in the legislature include:

  • A bill that would have created an online consumer website with information about every ALF in the state, a more detailed offering than the DSS’ current site.
  • Legislation that would have mandated that ALFs and other facilities licensed by the DSS undergo annual, unannounced inspections (current law calls for DSS visits every five years). A bill that would phase in unannounced visits for ALFs by 2018 did make it out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • A bill that would have given the DSS one working day instead of 10 to investigate allegations of physical or sexual abuse or imminent physical danger, and to promptly report the results of the investigator to the complainant.

The fate of the balance of the bills that were part of the [Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly] Reform Act of 2014 remains uncertain, according to the report.