Three Bills Aim To Change Nursing Home Care

by David Gorn

TOPIC ALERT:

The Assembly Committee on Health last week approved two bills to alter nursing home care in California and it will hear a third one this week.

AB 1752 by Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), expected to be heard in tomorrow's health committee hearing, is called the Nursing Facility Bed Hold Protection Act of 2012. It would require the Department of Health Care Services to penalize facilities for refusal to readmit a patient on appeal.

The Assembly health committee passed two other nursing home-related bills last week, also authored by Yamada.

The big one was AB 1710, which would restore funding to the Nursing Home Administrator Program, which looks into complaints about nursing home care. That bill passed the health committee by a 13-6 vote, and now heads to Appropriations.

And AB 1793 would change how federal dollars could be diverted to medical services during times of emergency. For instance, Yamada said, during a floodor other natural disaster, the demand for acute hospital care could spike. This bill would allow local governments to apply their federal money to handling those emergencies. In particular, Yamada said, emergency planners need to include nursing homes in their response efforts.

"Funding our state's consumer protection programs must reflect the true costs of operation in order to maintain the highest program standards," Yamada said.  "These bills give certainty to both consumers and industry providers."

AB 1793 also heads to Appropriations, after a 19-0 vote for approval.


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