You can already determine whether your doctor, veterinarian, attorney or hairdresser have breached the public trust and violated licensing regulations, via publicly available lists on state agency websites. CARR would like to see the same transparency provided for consumers of long-term care services. EPAAL will do just that. But, CARR cannot be the only voice. We need your help and support to get AB 1122 passed . . . but just not this legislative session. AB 1122 has officially morphed into a '2-year bill.' And here's why:
Our bill, carried by Cheryl Brown (D - San Bernardino), chair of the Long-Term-Care and Aging Assembly committee shelved AB 1122 until February 2016. It was her view that there were issues and language in AB 1122 that must be negotiated with other stakeholders, and that those issues could not be resolved timely to support both Human Services and Long Term Care and Aging Assembly committee hearings during the current legislative session. Therefore, CARR has another ten months to continue hammering out necessary accommodations.
Assembly Member Cheryl R. Brown (D - San Bernardino) introduced the “Excluded Persons Administrative Action List,” or ‘EPAAL’ legislation on Friday 27 February 2015. AB 1122 as it is now known, will require the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) to publish on its website a list of all persons who have been excluded from owning, operating and/or working inside any licensed care facility as a result of an Administrative Law proceeding.
AB 1122 will provide convenient online access to EPAAL, allowing assisted living residents, consumers and service providers to assure the caregivers and staff they hire have no prior history of behaviors which endangered the health or safety of an elder.
There is no mandatory requirement for DSS/CCL to refer elder neglect, abuse or other egregious behaviors perpetrated against seniors residing in assisted living facilities to outside law enforcement, therefore few crimes perpetrated against elders in licensed care facilities are ever prosecuted. Instead, through Administrative Law proceedings, DSS/CCL can permanently or temporarily prohibit a person from working in a licensed care facility. Yet, because the individual was never brought to justice through the criminal court system, the administrative sanction does not appear in criminal background checks. This makes continued access to vulnerable populations easy and significantly elevates the need for DSS/CCL to publish its list of excluded persons and related administrative actions.
Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division (DSS/CCLD) launched its new centralized complaint hotline this past week. The hotline's objective is to streamline the complaint process for consumers, and to assure information about complaints is consistently collected across all complaint report types. Once a complaint is filed through the central call office, it is reviewed by a field-seasoned CCL inspector; within a few hours after the complaint has been reported, it is directed to the appropriate regional field office for investigation. Once in the regional office, the agency must initiate its investigation within the 10-day regulatory time frame.
The 8-4-4 number is toll free, so there is now one less impediment to filing a complaint - you don't have to pay for the call. If its easier to email a complaint, the CCLD's new poster gives you the address: LetUsNo@dss.ca.gov. CARR encourages all family members, visitors in assisted living facilities, and reminds all mandated reporters to immediately report any event or circumstance endangering the health and safety of residents of assisted living facilities. As the poster says. . . If you SEE something, SAY something.
Long-term care options require extensive research, research that few consumers have the time to do, especially when an immediate need occurs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides consumers with decipherable icons and easy access to compliance histories for skilled nursing facilities; however, this type of data is still not provided for consumers of assisted living services. CARR was founded in 2009 to begin to fill this void and is currently the only public charity in California providing consumers unbiased, online access to the compliance histories for assisted living facilities.
But....poring over individual public documents is quite time-consuming (we should know) and, to the untrained eye, may provide limited assistance when attempting to initially narrow down a facility search. To ease this burden for the consumer, CARR has partnered with San Diego County’s Aging and Independence Services, to provide "Facility Snapshots"* on the assisted living facilities in the region. (AIS-sponsored Facility Snapshot's are denoted on our site by this green icon).