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AB-279 Intermediate care facilities and skilled nursing facilities: COVID-19.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/15/2021 09:00 PM
AB279:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 15, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 279


Introduced by Assembly Members Muratsuchi and Santiago

January 21, 2021


An act to add and repeal Section 1287 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to care facilities, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 279, as amended, Muratsuchi. Intermediate care facilities and skilled nursing facilities: COVID-19.
(1) Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to license, inspect, and regulate intermediate care facilities (ICF) and skilled nursing facilities (SNF). Existing law generally requires an ICF or SNF to comply with certain procedures and disclosures when transferring ownership or management of the facility, as specified. Existing law imposes criminal penalties on a person who violates the requirements imposed on these facilities.
This bill would prohibit an ICF or SNF, as defined, from terminating or making significant quality-of-care changes to its skilled nursing or supportive care services, or from transferring a resident to another facility, ICF or SNF, during any declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), except if the owner files a bankruptcy petition. The Besides the exception of a bankruptcy petition, the bill would authorize a resident transfer during the state of emergency only if the transfer is deemed medically necessary by a government agency, an attending physician, as specified, or the impacted resident or their representative provides written consent, as specified.
The bill would require, for one year after termination of the same type of state of emergency, the owner of an ICF or SNF to issue a 6-month advance notice of any proposed sale or termination of the licensed operation of the facility to each resident and their representatives before the sale or termination goes into effect. The bill would also prohibit, during the same type of state of emergency, any changes in all conditions for the sale of assets imposed by the Attorney General, except if the owner of an ICF or SNF files a bankruptcy petition.
During the same type of state of emergency, if a resident of an ICF or SNF, or an individual temporarily transferred to an ICF or SNF, has tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 calendar days, the bill would require the ICF or SNF to notify all residents and their representatives about the existence of a new case of COVID-19, as specified, subject to state and federal privacy laws.
By expanding the requirements and prohibitions imposed on a licensee of an ICF or SNF, and thereby expanding the scope of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2026.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
(3) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1287 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
1287.

(a)Unless the owner of the facility files a bankruptcy petition under Title 11 of the United States Code or any other laws of the United States, a facility shall not terminate or make significant changes to its skilled nursing or supportive care services or transfer a resident to another facility during any state of emergency declared pursuant to Section 8625 of the Government Code relating to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A resident transfer may occur only if either of the following is met:

1287.
 (a) A facility shall not terminate or make significant quality-of-care changes to its skilled nursing or supportive care services, or transfer a resident to another facility except as described in subdivision (b), during any state of emergency declared pursuant to Section 8625 of the Government Code relating to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), unless the owner of the facility files a bankruptcy petition under Title 11 of the United States Code or under any other federal bankruptcy laws.
(b) A resident transfer under the conditions described in subdivision (a) may occur only if any of the following is met:
(1) The transfer is deemed medically necessary by a government agency. an attending physician approved by the impacted resident or their legally authorized representative, if applicable.
(2) The impacted resident or their legally authorized representative, if applicable, provides written consent after being informed of their right to refuse the transfer in writing and in a language and manner that they understand.
(3) The owner of the facility files a bankruptcy petition as described in subdivision (a).

(b)

(c) For one year after termination of any state of emergency declared pursuant to Section 8625 of the Government Code relating to COVID-19, the owner of a facility shall issue a six-month advance notice of any proposed sale or termination of the licensed operation of the facility to each resident and their representatives before the sale or termination goes into effect.

(c)

(d) Unless the owner of a facility files a bankruptcy petition under Title 11 of the United States Code or any other laws of the United States, under any other federal bankruptcy laws, both of the following apply during any state of emergency declared pursuant to Section 8625 of the Government Code relating to COVID-19:
(1) All conditions of operation imposed by the Attorney General as conditions for the sale of assets from a nonprofit entity to a for-profit entity shall remain in effect and unchanged.
(2) All conditions for the sale of assets imposed by the Attorney General that are in effect at the beginning of the state of emergency shall remain in effect.

(d)

(e) During any state of emergency declared pursuant to Section 8625 of the Government Code relating to COVID-19, if a resident of a facility, or an individual temporarily transferred to a facility from another facility or any other type of health facility, has tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 calendar days, the facility of that resident or where that individual is transferred shall do both of the following, subject to state and federal privacy laws, as instructed by the department:
(1) Notify all other residents of the facility and their representatives about the existence of a new case of COVID-19, without disclosing the identity of the resident or other individual who has tested positive.
(2) In the case of a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19, notify the representatives of that resident about their COVID-19 case. In the case of an individual temporarily transferred to the facility and who has tested positive for COVID-19, if the individual becomes a resident of the facility, notify the representatives of that individual about their COVID-19 case.

(e)

(f) The protections provided under this section are in addition to, and not exclusive of, any other protections for facility residents regarding transfer and discharge.

(f)

(g) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) Except as described in paragraph (2), “facility” means an intermediate care facility, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 1250, or a skilled nursing facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1250, but does not include either of the following:
(A) Licensed beds in any facility specified in Section 4100 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or any other facility operated by the State Department of State Hospitals.
(B) Any facility operated by the State Department of Developmental Services, including, but not limited to, any Stabilization, Training, Assistance and Reintegration (STAR) home, developmental center, or community facility.
(2) “Health facility” has the same meaning as defined in Section 1250.

(g)

(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 3.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
To protect the residents of intermediate care facilities or skilled nursing facilities and their continued residence in their supportive environment and to prevent foreseeable homelessness of this vulnerable population during the crisis of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) state of emergency, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.