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AB-1437 California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act: licensing.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2017 09:00 PM
AB1437:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1437


Introduced by Assembly Member Patterson
(Principal coauthor: Senator Wiener)

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 1569.17 and 1569.23 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to care facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1437, as amended, Patterson. California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act: licensing.
(1) The California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act, among other things, requires the State Department of Social Services to investigate the criminal record of certain individuals who provide services to residents. The act requires an individual to obtain a criminal record clearance or exemption from the department before his or her initial presence at a facility. The act authorizes an individual to transfer a current criminal record clearance from one facility to another, under specified circumstances, for purposes of complying with these requirements.
This bill would prohibit an individual who is employed at a residential care facility for the elderly operated by a licensee and who possesses a current criminal record clearance from being required to transfer his or her current criminal record clearance to another facility operated by the same licensee.
(2) The California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act, among other things, requires various licenses and training for certain individuals who provide services to residents. The act specifically requires an administrator of a residential care facility for the elderly to be licensed and have successfully completed a certification program prior to employment.
This bill would exempt a person who holds a current license as a is certified as an administrator from a requirement to complete a separate certification program, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1569.17 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1569.17.
 The Legislature recognizes the need to generate timely and accurate positive fingerprint identification of applicants as a condition of issuing licenses, permits, or certificates of approval for persons to operate or provide direct care services in a residential care facility for the elderly. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to require the fingerprints of those individuals whose contact with clients of residential care facilities for the elderly may pose a risk to the clients’ health and safety. An individual shall be required to obtain either a criminal record clearance or a criminal record exemption from the State Department of Social Services before his or her initial presence in a residential care facility for the elderly.
(a) (1) Before and, as applicable, subsequent to issuing a license to any person or persons to operate or manage a residential care facility for the elderly, the department shall secure from an appropriate law enforcement agency a criminal record to determine whether the applicant or any other person specified in subdivision (b) has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation or arrested for any crime specified in subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code, or for violating Section 245, 273ab, or 273.5, subdivision (b) of Section 273a, or, prior to January 1, 1994, paragraph (2) of Section 273a, of the Penal Code, or for any crime for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to subdivision (f).
(2) The criminal history information shall include the full criminal record, if any, of those persons, and subsequent arrest information pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code.
(3) The following shall apply to the criminal record information:
(A) If the State Department of Social Services finds that the applicant or any other person specified in subdivision (b) has been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic violation, the application or presence shall be denied, unless the director grants an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f).
(B) If the State Department of Social Services finds that the applicant, or any other person specified in subdivision (b), is awaiting trial for a crime other than a minor traffic violation, the State Department of Social Services may cease processing the criminal record information until the conclusion of the trial.
(C) If no criminal record information has been recorded, the Department of Justice shall provide the applicant and the State Department of Social Services with a statement of that fact.
(D) If the State Department of Social Services finds after licensure that the licensee, or any other person specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation, the license may be revoked, unless the director grants an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f).
(E) An applicant and any other person specified in subdivision (b) shall submit fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the Department of Justice, for a state and federal level criminal offender record information search, in addition to the search required by subdivision (a). If an applicant meets all other conditions for licensure, except receipt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s criminal history information for the applicant and persons listed in subdivision (b), the department may issue a license if the applicant and each person described by subdivision (b) has signed and submitted a statement that he or she has never been convicted of a crime in the United States, other than a traffic infraction as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 42001 of the Vehicle Code. If, after licensure, the department determines that the licensee or person specified in subdivision (b) has a criminal record, the license may be revoked pursuant to Section 1569.50. The department may also suspend the license pending an administrative hearing pursuant to Sections 1569.50 and 1569.51.
(b) In addition to the applicant, the provisions of this section shall apply to criminal record clearances and exemptions for the following persons:
(1) (A) Adults responsible for administration or direct supervision of staff.
(B) Any person, other than a client, residing in the facility. Residents of unlicensed independent senior housing facilities that are located in contiguous buildings on the same property as a residential care facility for the elderly shall be exempt from these requirements.
(C) Any person who provides client assistance in dressing, grooming, bathing, or personal hygiene. Any nurse assistant or home health aide meeting the requirements of Section 1338.5 or 1736.6, respectively, who is not employed, retained, or contracted by the licensee, and who has been certified or recertified on or after July 1, 1998, shall be deemed to meet the criminal record clearance requirements of this section. A certified nurse assistant and certified home health aide who will be providing client assistance and who falls under this exemption shall provide one copy of his or her current certification, prior to providing care, to the residential care facility for the elderly. The facility shall maintain the copy of the certification on file as long as the care is being provided by the certified nurse assistant or certified home health aide at the facility. Nothing in this paragraph restricts the right of the department to exclude a certified nurse assistant or certified home health aide from a licensed residential care facility for the elderly pursuant to Section 1569.58.
(D) Any staff person, volunteer, or employee who has contact with the clients.
(E) If the applicant is a firm, partnership, association, or corporation, the chief executive officer or other person serving in a similar capacity.
(F) Additional officers of the governing body of the applicant or other persons with a financial interest in the applicant, as determined necessary by the department by regulation. The criteria used in the development of these regulations shall be based on the person’s capability to exercise substantial influence over the operation of the facility.
(2) The following persons are exempt from requirements applicable under paragraph (1):
(A) A spouse, relative, significant other, or close friend of a client shall be exempt if this person is visiting the client or provides direct care and supervision to that client only.
(B) A volunteer to whom all of the following apply:
(i) The volunteer is at the facility during normal waking hours.
(ii) The volunteer is directly supervised by the licensee or a facility employee with a criminal record clearance or exemption.
(iii) The volunteer spends no more than 16 hours per week at the facility.
(iv) The volunteer does not provide clients with assistance in dressing, grooming, bathing, or personal hygiene.
(v) The volunteer is not left alone with clients in care.
(C) A third-party contractor retained by the facility if the contractor is not left alone with clients in care.
(D) A third-party contractor or other business professional retained by a client and at the facility at the request or by permission of that client. These individuals shall not be left alone with other clients.
(E) Licensed or certified medical professionals are exempt from fingerprint and criminal background check requirements imposed by community care licensing. This exemption does not apply to a person who is a community care facility licensee or an employee of the facility.
(F) Employees of licensed home health agencies and members of licensed hospice interdisciplinary teams who have contact with a resident of a residential care facility at the request of the resident or resident’s legal decisionmaker are exempt from fingerprint and criminal background check requirements imposed by community care licensing. This exemption does not apply to a person who is a community care facility licensee or an employee of the facility.
(G) Clergy and other spiritual caregivers who are performing services in common areas of the residential care facility, or who are advising an individual resident at the request of, or with permission of, the resident, are exempt from fingerprint and criminal background check requirements imposed by community care licensing. This exemption does not apply to a person who is a community care facility licensee or an employee of the facility.
(H) Any person similar to those described in this subdivision, as defined by the department in regulations.
(I) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent a licensee from requiring a criminal record clearance of any individual exempt from the requirements of this section, provided that the individual has client contact.
(c) (1) (A) Subsequent to initial licensure, a person specified in subdivision (b) who is not exempted from fingerprinting shall obtain either a criminal record clearance or an exemption, pursuant to subdivision (f), from the State Department of Social Services prior to employment, residence, or initial presence in a facility. A person specified in subdivision (b) who is not exempt from fingerprinting shall be fingerprinted and shall sign a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding any prior criminal convictions. The licensee shall submit these fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the Department of Justice, for a state and federal level criminal offender record information search, or to comply with paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) prior to the person’s employment, residence, or initial presence in the residential care facility for the elderly.
(B) These fingerprint images and related information shall be electronically transmitted in a manner approved by the State Department of Social Services and the Department of Justice. A licensee’s failure to submit fingerprint images and related information to the Department of Justice, or to comply with paragraph (1) of subdivision (g), as required in this section, shall result in the citation of a deficiency and an immediate assessment of civil penalties in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation per day for a maximum of five days, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation within a 12-month period in which case the civil penalties shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation for a maximum of 30 days, and shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1569.50. The State Department of Social Services may assess civil penalties for continued violations as permitted by Section 1569.49. The licensee shall then submit these fingerprint images to the State Department of Social Services for processing. Documentation of the individual’s clearance or exemption shall be maintained by the licensee and be available for inspection. The Department of Justice shall notify the department, as required by Section 1522.04, and notify the licensee by mail within 14 days of electronic transmission of the fingerprints to the Department of Justice, if the person has no criminal record. A violation of the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 1522.04 shall result in the citation of a deficiency and an immediate assessment of civil penalties in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation per day for a maximum of five days, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation within a 12-month period in which case the civil penalties shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation for a maximum of 30 days, and shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1569.50. The department may assess civil penalties for continued violations as permitted by Section 1569.49.
(2) Within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the fingerprint images, the Department of Justice shall notify the State Department of Social Services of the criminal record information, as provided for in this subdivision. If no criminal record information has been recorded, the Department of Justice shall provide the licensee and the State Department of Social Services with a statement of that fact within 14 calendar days of receipt of the fingerprint images. If new fingerprint images are required for processing, the Department of Justice shall, within 14 calendar days from the date of receipt of the fingerprint images, notify the licensee that the fingerprint images were illegible.
(3) Except for persons specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), the licensee shall endeavor to ascertain the previous employment history of persons required to be fingerprinted under this subdivision. If the State Department of Social Services determines, on the basis of the fingerprint images submitted to the Department of Justice, that the person has been convicted of a sex offense against a minor, an offense specified in Section 243.4, 273a, 273ab, 273d, 273g, or 368 of the Penal Code, or a felony, the State Department of Social Services shall notify the licensee in writing within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the notification from the Department of Justice to act immediately to terminate the person’s employment, remove the person from the residential care facility for the elderly, or bar the person from entering the residential care facility for the elderly. The State Department of Social Services may subsequently grant an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f). If the conviction was for another crime, except a minor traffic violation, the licensee shall, upon notification by the State Department of Social Services, act immediately to either (1) terminate the person’s employment, remove the person from the residential care facility for the elderly, or bar the person from entering the residential care facility for the elderly or (2) seek an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f). The department shall determine if the person shall be allowed to remain in the facility until a decision on the exemption is rendered by the department. A licensee’s failure to comply with the department’s prohibition of employment, contact with clients, or presence in the facility as required by this paragraph shall result in a citation of deficiency and an immediate assessment of civil penalties by the department against the licensee, in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation per day for a maximum of five days, unless the violation is a second or subsequent violation within a 12-month period in which case the civil penalties shall be in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per violation for a maximum of 30 days, and shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1569.50.
(4) The department may issue an exemption on its own motion pursuant to subdivision (f) if the person’s criminal history indicates that the person is of good character based on the age, seriousness, and frequency of the conviction or convictions. The department, in consultation with interested parties, shall develop regulations to establish the criteria to grant an exemption pursuant to this paragraph.
(5) Concurrently with notifying the licensee pursuant to paragraph (4), the department shall notify the affected individual of his or her right to seek an exemption pursuant to subdivision (f). The individual may seek an exemption only if the licensee terminates the person’s employment or removes the person from the facility after receiving notice from the department pursuant to paragraph (4).
(d) (1) For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, a conviction means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. Any action that the department is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, when the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of the sentence, notwithstanding a subsequent order pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a of the Penal Code permitting a person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment. For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, the record of a conviction, or a copy thereof certified by the clerk of the court or by a judge of the court in which the conviction occurred, shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction. For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, the arrest disposition report certified by the Department of Justice or documents admissible in a criminal action pursuant to Section 969b of the Penal Code shall be prima facie evidence of the conviction, notwithstanding any other law prohibiting the admission of these documents in a civil or administrative action.
(2) For purposes of this section or any other provision of this chapter, the department shall consider criminal convictions from another state or federal court as if the criminal offense was committed in this state.
(e) (1) The State Department of Social Services shall not use a record of arrest to deny, revoke, or terminate any application, license, employment, or residence unless the department investigates the incident and secures evidence, whether or not related to the incident of arrest, that is admissible in an administrative hearing to establish conduct by the person that may pose a risk to the health and safety of any person who is or may become a client.
(2) The department shall not issue a criminal record clearance to a person who has been arrested for any crime specified in Section 290 of the Penal Code, or for violating Section 245, 273ab, or 273.5, or subdivision (b) of Section 273a of the Penal Code, or, prior to January 1, 1994, paragraph (2) of Section 273a of the Penal Code, or for any crime for which the department is prohibited from granting a record exemption pursuant to subdivision (f), prior to the department’s completion of an investigation pursuant to paragraph (1).
(3) The State Department of Social Services is authorized to obtain any arrest or conviction records or reports from any law enforcement agency as necessary to the performance of its duties to inspect, license, and investigate community care facilities and individuals associated with a community care facility.
(f) (1) After review of the record, the director may grant an exemption from disqualification for a license as specified in paragraphs (1) and (4) of subdivision (a), or for employment, residence, or presence in a residential care facility for the elderly as specified in paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (c) if the director has substantial and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that the applicant and the person convicted of the crime, if other than the applicant, are of such good character as to justify issuance of the license or special permit or granting an exemption for purposes of subdivision (c). However, an exemption shall not be granted pursuant to this subdivision if the conviction was for any of the following offenses:
(A) An offense specified in Section 220, 243.4, or 264.1, subdivision (a) of Section 273a, or, prior to January 1, 1994, paragraph (1) of Section 273a, Section 273ab, 273d, 288, or 289, subdivision (c) of Section 290, or Section 368, of the Penal Code, or was a conviction of another crime against an individual specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.
(B) A felony offense specified in Section 729 of the Business and Professions Code or Section 206 or 215, subdivision (a) of Section 347, subdivision (b) of Section 417, or subdivision (a) of Section 451 of the Penal Code.
(2) The director shall notify in writing the licensee or the applicant of his or her decision within 60 days of receipt of all information from the applicant and other sources determined necessary by the director for the rendering of a decision pursuant to this subdivision.
(3) The department shall not prohibit a person from being employed or having contact with clients in a facility on the basis of a denied criminal record exemption request or arrest information unless the department complies with the requirements of Section 1569.58.
(g) (1) (A) For purposes of compliance with this section, the department may permit an individual to transfer a current criminal record clearance, as defined in subdivision (a), from one facility to another, as long as the criminal record clearance has been processed through a state licensing district office, and is being transferred to another facility licensed by a state licensing district office. The request shall be submitted in writing to the department, and shall include a copy of the person’s driver’s license or valid identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a valid photo identification issued by another state or the United States government if the person is not a California resident. Upon request of the licensee, who shall enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for this purpose, the department shall verify whether the individual has a clearance that can be transferred.
(B) For purposes of compliance with this section, an individual who is employed at a residential care facility for the elderly operated by a licensee and possesses a current criminal record clearance shall not be required to transfer his or her current criminal record clearance to another residential care facility for the elderly operated by the same licensee.
(2) The State Department of Social Services shall hold criminal record clearances in its active files for a minimum of two years after an employee is no longer employed at a licensed facility in order for the criminal record clearances to be transferred under this section.
(h) If a licensee or facility is required by law to deny employment or to terminate employment of any employee based on written notification from the department that the employee has a prior criminal conviction or is determined unsuitable for employment under Section 1569.58, the licensee or facility shall not incur civil liability or unemployment insurance liability as a result of that denial or termination.
(i) Notwithstanding any other law, the department may provide an individual with a copy of his or her state or federal level criminal offender record information search response as provided to that department by the Department of Justice if the department has denied a criminal background clearance based on this information and the individual makes a written request to the department for a copy specifying an address to which it is to be sent. The state or federal level criminal offender record information search response shall not be modified or altered from its form or content as provided by the Department of Justice and shall be provided to the address specified by the individual in his or her written request. The department shall retain a copy of the individual’s written request and the response and date provided.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1569.23 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1569.23.
 (a) As a requirement for licensure, the applicant shall demonstrate that he or she has successfully completed a certification program approved by the department.
(b) The certification program shall consist of both of the following:
(1) Eighty hours of coursework, at least 60 hours of which shall be attended in person.
(2) A state-administered examination consisting of no less than 100 questions. The examination shall reflect the uniform core of knowledge required pursuant to subdivision (c).
(c) The certification program shall include a uniform core of knowledge which shall include all of the following:
(1) Law, including regulations, policies, and procedural standards that impact the operations of residential care facilities for the elderly.
(2) Business operations.
(3) Management and supervision of staff.
(4) Psychosocial need of the elderly residents.
(5) Physical needs for elderly residents.
(6) Community and support services.
(7) Medication management, including use, misuse, and interaction of drugs commonly used by the elderly, including antipsychotics, and the adverse effects of psychotropic drugs for use in controlling the behavior of persons with dementia.
(8) Resident admission, retention, and assessment procedures.
(9) Managing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, including nonpharmacologic, person-centered approaches to dementia care.
(10) Managing the physical environment, including maintenance and housekeeping.
(11) Residents’ rights, and the importance of initial and ongoing training for all staff to ensure residents’ rights are fully respected and implemented.
(12) Cultural competency and sensitivity in issues relating to the underserved, aging, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
(13) Postural supports, restricted health conditions, and hospice care.
(d) Successful completion of the certification program shall be demonstrated by passing the state-administered examination and submitting a fee of one hundred dollars ($100) to the department for the issuance of a certificate of completion.
(e) (1) The department shall establish by regulation the program content, the testing instrument, process for approving certification programs, and criteria to be used for authorizing individuals or organizations to conduct certification programs. These regulations shall be developed with the participation of provider organizations.
(2) The department shall ensure that the examination consists of at least 100 questions and allows an applicant to have access to the California Residential Care Facility for the Elderly Act and related regulations during the examination. The department, no later than July 1 of every other year, shall review and revise the examination in order to ensure the rigor and quality of the examination. Each year, the department shall ensure by January 1 that the exam is not in conflict with current law. The department may convene a stakeholder group to assist in developing and reviewing test questions.
(f) This section shall apply to all applications for licensure unless the applicant provides evidence that he or she has a current license for another residential care facility for the elderly which was initially licensed prior to July 1, 1989, possesses a current license as a certified is certified as an administrator of a residential care facility for the elderly, or has successfully completed an approved certification program within the prior five years.
(g) If the applicant is a firm, partnership, association, or corporation, the chief executive officer, or other person serving in a like capacity, or the designated administrator of the facility, shall provide evidence of successfully completing an approved certification program.
(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.