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AB-279 Developmental disabilities: regional centers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/01/2017 09:00 PM
AB279:v98#DOCUMENT

Revised  March 08, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 01, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 279


Introduced by Assembly Member Holden
(Coauthor: Senator Stern)

February 02, 2017


An act to amend Sections 4681.6 and 4681.1, 4681.6, 4691.6, and 4691.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to developmental disabilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 279, as amended, Holden. Developmental disabilities: regional centers.
Under existing law, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, the State Department of Developmental Services is responsible for providing various services and supports to persons with developmental disabilities, and for ensuring the appropriateness and quality of those services and supports. Existing law authorizes the department to contract with regional centers to provide these services and supports. Existing law sets forth the department’s and the regional center’s authority to establish provider rates. Existing law prohibits certain provider rate increases, but, commencing July 1, 2017, but authorizes increases to those rates as necessary to adjust employee wages to meet the state minimum wage law. Existing law further requires the department to adopt regulations that specify rates, calculated on the basis of a cost model, including, among other things, changes in the state or federal minimum wage, for community care facilities serving persons with developmental disabilities, as specified. Existing law authorizes the department to approve rate adjustments for a work activity program that demonstrates to the department that the adjustment is necessary, as specified. Existing law authorizes community-based day program and in-home respite services agency providers with temporary payment rates set by the department to seek unanticipated rate adjustments from the department, as specified.
This bill would require the cost model described above to also include changes in local minimum wage. The bill would additionally authorize adjustment of prescribed provider rates if the adjustment is necessary to adjust payroll costs associated with another statute or ordinance that the provider is required to comply with that increases the minimum wage. in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage required to comply with an ordinance that increases the minimum wage, as specified. The bill would provide that these provisions become operative on July 1, 2018.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 4681.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4681.1.
 (a) The department shall adopt regulations that specify rates for community care facilities serving persons with developmental disabilities. The implementation of the regulations shall be contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for this purpose. These rates shall be calculated on the basis of a cost model designed by the department that ensures that aggregate facility payments support the provision of services to each person in accordance with his or her individual program plan and applicable program requirements. The cost model shall reflect cost elements that shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) “Basic living needs” include utilities, furnishings, food, supplies, incidental transportation, housekeeping, personal care items, and other items necessary to ensure a quality environment for persons with developmental disabilities. The amount identified for the basic living needs element of the rate shall be calculated as the average projected cost of these items in an economically and efficiently operated community care facility.
(2) “Direct care” includes salaries, wages, benefits, and other expenses necessary to supervise or support the person’s functioning in the areas of self-care and daily living skills, physical coordination mobility, and behavioral self-control, choice making, and integration. The amount identified for direct care shall be calculated as the average projected cost of providing the level of service required to meet each person’s functional needs in an economically and efficiently operated community care facility. The direct care portion of the rate shall reflect specific service levels defined by the department on the basis of relative resident need and the individual program plan.
(3) “Special services” include specialized training, treatment, supervision, or other services that a person’s individual program plan requires to be provided by the residential facility in addition to the direct care provided under paragraph (2). The amount identified for special services shall be calculated for each individual based on the additional services specified in the person’s individual program plan and the prevailing rates paid for similar services in the area. The special services portion of the rate shall reflect a negotiated agreement between the facility and the regional center in accordance with Section 4648.
(4) “Indirect costs” include managerial personnel, facility operation, maintenance and repair, other nondirect care, employee benefits, contracts, training, travel, licenses, taxes, interest, insurance, depreciation, and general administrative expenses. The amount identified for indirect costs shall be calculated as the average projected cost for these expenses in an economically and efficiently operated community care facility.
(5) “Property costs” include mortgages, leases, rent, taxes, capital or leasehold improvements, depreciation, and other expenses related to the physical structure. The amount identified for property costs shall be based on the fair rental value of a model facility that is adequately designed, constructed, and maintained to meet the needs of persons with developmental disabilities. The amount identified for property costs shall be calculated as the average projected fair rental value of an economically and efficiently operated community care facility.
(b) The cost model shall take into account factors that include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Facility size, as defined by the department on the basis of the number of facility beds licensed by the State Department of Social Services and vendorized by the regional center.
(2) Specific geographic areas, as defined by the department on the basis of cost of living and other pertinent economic indicators.
(3) Common levels of direct care, as defined by the department on the basis of services specific to an identifiable group of persons as determined through the individual program plan.
(4) Positive outcomes, as defined by the department on the basis of increased integration, independence, and productivity at the aggregate facility and individual consumer level.
(5) Owner-operated and staff-operated reimbursement, which shall not differ for facilities that are required to comply with the same program requirements.
(c) The rates established for individual community care facilities serving persons with developmental disabilities shall reflect all of the model cost elements and rate development factors described in this section. The cost model design shall include a process for updating the cost model elements that address variables, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Economic trends in California.
(2) New state or federal program requirements.
(3) Changes in the state or federal minimum wage.
(4) Commencing July 1, 2018, changes in local minimum wage.

(4)

(5) Increases in fees, taxes, or other business costs.

(5)

(6) Increases in federal supplemental security income/state supplementary program for the aged, blind, and disabled payments.
(d) Rates established for persons with developmental disabilities who are also dually diagnosed with a mental health disorder may be fixed at a higher rate. The department shall work with the State Department of Health Care Services to establish criteria upon which higher rates may be fixed pursuant to this subdivision. The higher rate for persons with developmental disabilities who are also dually diagnosed with a mental health disorder may be paid when requested by the director of the regional center and approved by the Director of Developmental Services.
(e) By January 1, 2001, the department shall prepare proposed regulations to implement the changes outlined in this section. The department may use a private firm to assist in the development of these changes and shall confer with consumers, providers, and other interested parties concerning the proposed regulations. By May 15, 2001, and each year thereafter, the department shall provide the Legislature with annual community care facility rates, including any draft amendments to the regulations as required. By July 1, 2001, and each year thereafter, contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, the department shall adopt emergency regulations that establish the annual rates for community care facilities serving persons with developmental disabilities for each fiscal year.
(f) During the first year of operation under the revised rate model, individual facilities shall be held harmless for any reduction in aggregate facility payments caused solely by the change in reimbursement methodology.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 4681.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4681.6.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2008:
(1) A regional center shall not pay an existing residential service provider, for services for which rates are determined through a negotiation between the regional center and the provider, a rate higher than the rate in effect on June 30, 2008, unless the increase is required by a contract between the regional center and the vendor that is in effect on June 30, 2008, or the regional center demonstrates that the approval is necessary to protect the consumer’s health or safety and the department has granted prior written authorization.
(2) A regional center shall not negotiate a rate with a new residential service provider, for services for which rates are determined through a negotiation between the regional center and the provider, that is higher than the regional center’s median rate for the same service code and unit of service, or the statewide median rate for the same service code and unit of service, whichever is lower. The unit of service designation shall conform with an existing regional center designation or, if none exists, a designation used to calculate the statewide median rate for the same service. The regional center shall annually certify to the department its median rate for each negotiated rate service code, by designated unit of service. This certification shall be subject to verification through the department’s biennial fiscal audit of the regional center.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing January 1, 2017, regional centers may negotiate a rate adjustment with residential service providers regarding rates that are otherwise restricted pursuant to subdivision (a), if the adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage as established by Section 1182.12 of the Labor Code, as amended by Chapter 4 of the Statutes of 2016, and only for the purpose of adjusting payroll costs associated with the minimum wage increase or another statute or ordinance that the provider is required to comply with that increases the minimum wage. increase. The rate adjustment shall be specific to the unit of service designation that is affected by the increased minimum wage, shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to adjust employee pay only to the extent necessary to bring pay into compliance with the increased state minimum wage, and shall not be used as a general wage enhancement for employees paid above the minimum wage. Regional centers shall maintain documentation on the process to determine, and the rationale for granting, any rate adjustment associated with the minimum wage increase.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing July 1, 2018, a regional center may negotiate a rate adjustment with residential service providers regarding rates that are otherwise restricted pursuant to subdivision (a), if the adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage required to comply with an ordinance that increases the minimum wage, and only for the purpose of adjustment to payroll costs associated with the minimum wage increase.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing July 1, 2015, regional centers may negotiate a rate adjustment with residential service providers regarding rates that are otherwise restricted pursuant to subdivision (a), if the adjustment is necessary to implement Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 245) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, as added by Chapter 317 of the Statutes of 2014. The rate adjustment may be applied only if a minimum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year was not a benefit provided to employees as of June 30, 2015, and shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to compensate an employee up to a maximum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave in each year of employment.
(d) For purposes of this section, “residential service provider” includes Adult Residential Facilities for Persons with Special Health Care Needs, as described in Section 4684.50.
(e) This section shall not apply to those services for which rates are determined by the State Department of Health Care Services, or the State Department of Developmental Services, or are usual and customary.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4691.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4691.6.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2006, the community-based day program, work activity program, and in-home respite service agency rate schedules authorized by the department and in operation June 30, 2006, shall be increased by 3 percent, subject to funds specifically appropriated for this increase in the Budget Act of 2006. The increase shall be applied as a percentage, and the percentage shall be the same for all providers. Any subsequent increase shall be governed by subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l), and Section 4691.9.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, the department shall not establish any permanent payment rate for a community-based day program or in-home respite service agency provider that has a temporary payment rate in effect on June 30, 2008, if the permanent payment rate would be greater than the temporary payment rate in effect on or after June 30, 2008, unless the regional center demonstrates to the department that the permanent payment rate is necessary to protect the consumers’ health or safety.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, neither the department nor any regional center shall approve any program design modification or revendorization for a community-based day program or in-home respite service agency provider that would result in an increase in the rate to be paid to the vendor from the rate that is in effect on or after June 30, 2008, unless the regional center demonstrates that the program design modification or revendorization is necessary to protect the consumers’ health or safety and the department has granted prior written authorization.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, the department shall not approve an anticipated rate adjustment for a community-based day program or in-home respite service agency provider that would result in an increase in the rate to be paid to the vendor from the rate that is in effect on or after June 30, 2008, unless the regional center demonstrates that the anticipated rate adjustment is necessary to protect the consumers’ health or safety.
(e) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, except as set forth in subdivisions (f) and (i), the department shall not approve any rate adjustment for a work activity program that would result in an increase in the rate to be paid to the vendor from the rate that is in effect on or after June 30, 2008, unless the regional center demonstrates that the rate adjustment is necessary to protect the consumers’ health and safety and the department has granted prior written authorization.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing January 1, 2017, the department may approve rate adjustments for a work activity program that demonstrates to the department that the rate adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees who, prior to January 1, 2017, were being compensated at a wage that is less than the minimum wage established on and after January 1, 2017, by Section 1182.12 of the Labor Code, as amended by Chapter 4 of the Statutes of 2016. The rate adjustment pursuant to this subdivision shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to adjust employee pay only to the extent necessary to bring pay into compliance with the increased state minimum wage, and shall not constitute a general wage enhancement for employees paid above the increased minimum wage.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2018, the department may approve rate adjustments for a work activity program that demonstrates to the department that the rate adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage required to comply with an ordinance that increases the minimum wage, and only for the purpose of adjustment to payroll costs associated with the minimum wage increase.
(g) (1) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing January 1, 2017, community-based day program and in-home respite services agency providers with temporary payment rates set by the department may seek unanticipated rate adjustments from the department due to the impacts of the increased minimum wage as established by Section 1182.12 of the Labor Code, as amended by Chapter 4 of the Statutes of 2016. The rate adjustment shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to adjust employee pay only to the extent necessary to bring pay into compliance with the increased state minimum wage, and shall not constitute a general wage enhancement for employees paid above the increased minimum wage.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2018, community-based day program and in-home respite services agency providers with payment rates set by the department may seek unanticipated rate adjustments from the department if the community-based day program or in-home respite services agency demonstrates to the department that the rate adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage required to comply with an ordinance that increases the minimum wage, and only for the purpose of adjustment to payroll costs associated with the minimum wage increase.
(h) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing January 1, 2015, the in-home respite service agency rate schedule authorized by the department and in operation December 31, 2014, shall be increased by 5.82 percent, subject to funds specifically appropriated for this increase for costs due to changes in federal regulations implementing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 201 et seq.). The increase shall be applied as a percentage, and the percentage shall be the same for all applicable providers.
(i) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2015, the department may approve rate adjustments for a work activity program that demonstrates to the department that the rate adjustment is necessary to implement Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 245) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, as added by Chapter 317 of the Statutes of 2014. The rate adjustment may be applied only if a minimum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year was not a benefit provided to employees as of June 30, 2015, and shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to compensate an employee up to a maximum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave in each year of employment.
(j) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2015, community-based day program and in-home respite services agency providers with temporary payment rates set by the department may seek unanticipated rate adjustments from the department if the adjustment is necessary to implement Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 245) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, as added by Chapter 317 of the Statutes of 2014. The rate adjustment may be applied only if a minimum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year was not a benefit provided to employees as of June 30, 2015, and shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to compensate an employee up to a maximum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave in each year of employment.
(k) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2016, and to the extent funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, the in-home respite service agency rate schedule authorized by the department and in operation June 30, 2016, shall be increased by 5 percent. The increase shall be applied as a percentage, and the percentage shall be the same for all providers.
(l) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2016, and to the extent funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, the independent living service rate schedule authorized by the department and in operation June 30, 2016, shall be increased by 5 percent. The increase shall be applied as a percentage, and the percentage shall be the same for all providers.

SEC. 2.SEC. 4.

 Section 4691.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4691.9.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2008:
(1) A regional center shall not pay an existing service provider, for services for which rates are determined through a negotiation between the regional center and the provider, a rate higher than the rate in effect on June 30, 2008, unless the increase is required by a contract between the regional center and the vendor that is in effect on June 30, 2008, or the regional center demonstrates that the approval is necessary to protect the consumer’s health or safety and the department has granted prior written authorization.
(2) A regional center shall not negotiate a rate with a new service provider, for services for which rates are determined through a negotiation between the regional center and the provider, that is higher than the regional center’s median rate for the same service code and unit of service, or the statewide median rate for the same service code and unit of service, whichever is lower. The unit of service designation shall conform with an existing regional center designation or, if none exists, a designation used to calculate the statewide median rate for the same service. The regional center shall annually certify to the State Department of Developmental Services its median rate for each negotiated rate service code, by designated unit of service. This certification shall be subject to verification through the department’s biennial fiscal audit of the regional center.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing January 1, 2017, regional centers may negotiate a rate adjustment with providers regarding rates if the adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage as established by Section 1182.12 of the Labor Code, as amended by Chapter 4 of the Statutes of 2016, and only for the purpose of adjusting payroll costs associated with the minimum wage increase or another statute or ordinance that the provider is required to comply with that increases the minimum wage. increase. The rate adjustment shall be specific to the unit of service designation that is affected by the increased minimum wage, shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to adjust employee pay only to the extent necessary to bring pay into compliance with the increased state minimum wage, and shall not be used as a general wage enhancement for employees paid above the increased minimum wage. Regional centers shall maintain documentation on the process to determine, and the rationale for granting, any rate adjustment associated with the minimum wage increase.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), effective July 1, 2018, a regional center may negotiate a rate adjustment with providers regarding rates if the adjustment is necessary in order to pay employees no less than the minimum wage required to comply with an ordinance that increases the minimum wage, and only for the purpose of adjustment to payroll costs associated with the minimum wage increase.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing January 1, 2015, rates for personal assistance and supported living services in effect on December 31, 2014, shall be increased by 5.82 percent, subject to funds specifically appropriated for this increase for costs due to changes in federal regulations implementing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 201 et seq.). The increase shall be applied as a percentage, and the percentage shall be the same for all applicable providers. As used in this subdivision, both of the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Personal assistance” is limited only to those services provided by vendors classified by the regional center as personal assistance providers, pursuant to the miscellaneous services provisions contained in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) “Supported living services” are limited only to those services defined as supported living services in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing July 1, 2015, regional centers may negotiate a rate adjustment with existing service providers for services for which rates are determined through negotiation between the regional center and the provider, if the adjustment is necessary to implement Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 245) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, as added by Chapter 317 of the Statutes of 2014. The rate adjustment may be applied only if a minimum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave per year was not a benefit provided to employees as of June 30, 2015, and shall be specific to payroll costs associated with any increase necessary to compensate an employee up to a maximum of 24 hours or three days of paid sick leave in each year of employment.
(e) Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, commencing July 1, 2016, and to the extent funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, rates for transportation services in effect on June 30, 2016, shall be increased by 5 percent. The increase shall be applied as a percentage to existing rates, and the percentage shall be the same for all applicable providers.
(f) This section shall not apply to those services for which rates are determined by the State Department of Health Care Services, or the State Department of Developmental Services, or are usual and customary.

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REVISIONS:
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