Before this new elderly abuse law was signed, the regulations in California regarding the ownership, management, and operation of nursing homes were extremely relaxed. Shockingly, anyone could purchase a nursing home and immediately assume responsibility for the care of residents, even if their license was still pending. Moreover, nursing home chain operators could bypass the licensing process entirely to open a new facility.

This puts nursing home residents at greater risk of poor care and elder abuse.

Fortunately, California Governor Gavin Newsom has officially signed the Skilled Nursing Facility Ownership and Management Reform Act (AB 1502) into law, which hopes to reform existing laws and make nursing homes safer for our loved ones. 

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What is California AB1502?

California Assembly Bill (AB) 1502, also known as the Skilled Nursing Facility Ownership and Management Reform Act of 2021, brings in new regulations for licensing, ownership, and management of nursing homes. These rules are imperative to ensure that nursing homes are owned and managed in a way that prioritizes the well-being of residents. 

Effective from July 1, 2023, the new regulations will apply to all new applicants. These changes are much needed to improve the quality of care provided to nursing home residents and ensure that the owners and managers of these facilities are held accountable for their actions.

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What Does This Elderly Abuse Law Change?

The Skilled Nursing Facility Ownership and Management Reform Act creates safeguards that make it more difficult for negligent nursing home operators to obtain a license. This new elder abuse law includes some new rules:

  • To acquire ownership or operate a skilled nursing facility in California, you must submit an application to the California Department of Public Health at least 120 days before the acquisition or commencement of activities.
  • CDPH must provide written approval before transferring ownership, operations, or facility management.
  • The process of changing the ownership of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) often involves an interim management agreement. However, with this regulation, interim management is only allowed if the SNF is under temporary management, at immediate risk of losing certification, facing license revocation suspension, or closure. In such cases, the applicant may serve as an interim manager, but only after approval from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and until the change of ownership application is processed.
  • Under this new elderly abuse law, all license applications to CDPH become public records, except under any applicable federal or state privacy laws.
  • CDPH approval only applies to management companies making financial decisions, directing patient care/quality, and supervising direct care staff on behalf of the licensee.
  • Changes the financial capacity evidence requirement for a change of ownership application from 45 days to 90 days.
  • Automatically disqualifies an applicant if any of the following has occurred within the last five years, or during the application period:
    • The applicant or anyone with a 5% or more beneficial ownership interest in the applicant entity must not have managed a long-term care facility in California or any other state that was terminated from the Medicare/Medi-Cal program, had its license suspended/revoked, or was subjected to receivership/temporary management while under their ownership, operation, or management.”
    • Within a consecutive 24-month period, if a facility has had two or more citations that include either “AA” or “A” with patient death, it will be flagged…
    • Applicants who own 10% or more of licensed SNFs in California require a CDPH exception.

Who Benefits From CA AB 1502?

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Nursing home residents and their families are the main beneficiaries of California AB 1502. This elderly abuse law aims to make it more challenging for unsuitable individuals and entities to own or operate nursing home facilities. It holds nursing home owners and license applicants accountable for their actions. The primary objective of this bill is to reduce the mismanagement and poor care experienced by residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

See more: When Should You Hire an Elder Abuse Attorney?

Are you concerned about your loved one’s well-being in a nursing facility? If you suspect neglect or abuse, it’s important to seek legal guidance.  Elder abuse attorneys can help you understand your rights, investigate the situation, and hold facilities accountable.

Our team at Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center not only has professional experience with elderly abuse law but also understands the emotional hardship families face in these situations. We offer compassionate legal representation and will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your family.

Contact us now to get a free consultant from the experienced nursing home abuse lawyer!