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SB-460 Office of the Patient Representative.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/16/2021 09:00 PM
SB460:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 460


Introduced by Senator Pan

February 16, 2021


An act to add Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 9350) to Division 8.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to aging.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 460, as introduced, Pan. Office of the Patient Representative.
Existing law, the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act, establishes the California Department of Aging in the California Health and Human Services Agency, and sets forth its mission to provide leadership to the area agencies on aging in developing systems of home- and community-based services that maintain individuals in their own homes or least restrictive homelike environments.
This bill would create the Office of the Patient Representative in the Department of Aging to train, certify, provide, and oversee patient representatives to protect the rights of nursing home residents, as specified. The bill would, among other things, require the office to establish appropriate eligibility, training, certification, and continuing education requirements for patient representatives and to convene a group of stakeholders to advise the office regarding the eligibility requirements. The bill would, among other things, require the office to collect and analyze data, including the number of residents represented, the number of interdisciplinary team meetings attended, and the number of cases in which judicial review was sought and to present that data in an annual public report delivered to the Legislature and posted on the office’s internet website. The bill would require patient representatives to perform various duties including reviewing the determinations that the resident lacks decisionmaking capacity and no surrogate decisionmaker is available, 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.

 Chapter 4.1 (commencing with Section 9350) is added to Division 8.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4.1. Office of the Patient Representative

9350.
 The Office of the Patient Representative is hereby established within the Department of Aging to train, certify, provide, and oversee patient representatives to protect the rights of nursing home residents pursuant to Section 1418.8 of the Health and Safety Code.

9351.
 (a) The Office of the Patient Representative shall establish appropriate eligibility, training, certification, and continuing education requirements for patient representatives. The Department of Aging shall convene a group of stakeholders to advise the office regarding the eligibility requirements of patient representatives.
(b) Each patient representative shall have a criminal offender record clearance conducted by the State Department of Social Services. A clearance pursuant to Section 1569.17 of the Health and Safety Code shall constitute clearances for the purpose of entry to any long-term care facility.
(c) Patient representatives shall not be a current or former licensee, or owner, employee, or volunteer of a skilled nursing or intermediate care facility. Notwithstanding this prohibition, former employees and volunteers are not precluded from serving as patient representatives at the facilities where they previously served after two years of separation. Former employees and volunteers are not precluded from serving as patient representatives for facilities that they were not previously affiliated with.
(d) The Office of the Patient Representative shall communicate with every skilled nursing and intermediate care facility to provide, and update as needed, contact information to use for notices provided to residents.
(e) The Office of the Patient Representative may work with Area Agencies on Aging or other nonprofit entities to provide patient representatives.

9352.
 (a) The Office of the Patient Representative shall collect and analyze data, including the number of residents represented, the number of interdisciplinary team meetings attended, and the number of cases in which judicial review was sought. The collected data shall be the basis for an annual public report delivered to the Legislature and posted on the Office of the Patient Representative’s internet website.
(b) The report required to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

9353.
 The Office of the Patient Representative shall ensure residents who seek judicial review pursuant to Section 1418.8 of the Health and Safety Code are provided adequate legal counsel for that purpose.

9354.
 Patient representatives shall perform all of the following duties:
(a) Receive written notices from facilities issued pursuant to Section 1418.8 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) Meet and interview the resident who is the subject of a notice at the initiation of the representation and, at the discretion of the representative, thereafter.
(c) Verify that the resident received the notice.
(d) Review the determinations that the resident lacks decisionmaking capacity and no surrogate decisionmaker is available.
(e) Participate in the interdisciplinary team review.
(f) Articulate the resident’s perspective if it can be determined and advocate for the resident’s wishes if known.
(g) Identify and report any concerns regarding the care or wellbeing of the resident to the Department of Public Health and appropriate organization or agency.
(h) Review the nature of the proposed interventions requiring informed consent and the alternatives to those interventions, and consider whether they appear consistent with the best interests of the resident.
(i) Express agreement or disagreement with the other members of the interdisciplinary team regarding proposed interventions under review and seek to reach consensus on the proposed or alternative interventions, if possible.
(j) Make referrals, as appropriate, to appropriate legal counsel identified by the Department of Aging, when further or additional actions may be appropriate, to protect the interests of residents including legal action contesting the determinations that the resident lacks decisionmaking capacity, that no surrogate decisionmaker is available, or contested interventions requiring informed consent.

9355.
 (a) The Office of Patient Representative shall adopt any regulations necessary to implement this chapter consistent with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(b) The state shall disburse all funds not directed to the Office of Patient Representative to each of the counties’ Area Agency on Aging using an allotment proportional to the number of nursing home beds in that county.