Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 2. LICENSING PROVISIONS [1200 - 1797.8]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 3.93. Admission Contracts for Long-Term Health Care Facilities [1599.60 - 1599.84]
  ( Heading of Chapter 3.93 renumbered from Chapter 3.95 (as added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625) by Stats. 1990, Ch. 216, Sec. 57. )

1599.60.
  

As used in this chapter:

(a)  “Abbreviated contract of admission” means a contract which meets the provisions of this chapter, except as otherwise provided, for a resident who is receiving respite care services, as defined in Section 1418.1. The following provisions of this chapter shall not apply to an abbreviated contract of admission: subdivision (b) of Section 1599.65, subdivision (b) of Section 1599.67, Section 1599.69, subdivision (b) of Section 1599.76, and Section 1599.79.

(b)  “Contract of admission” includes all documents which a resident or his or her representative must sign at the time of, or as a condition of, admission to a long-term health care facility, as defined in Section 1326.

(c)  “Department” means the State Department of Health Services or its designee.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1329, Sec. 4.5. Effective September 26, 1990.)

1599.61.
  

(a)  By January 1, 2000, all skilled nursing facilities, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1250, intermediate care facilities, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 1250, and nursing facilities, as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 1250, shall use a standard admission agreement developed and adopted by the department. This standard agreement shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws.

(b)  (1)  No facility shall alter the standard agreement unless so directed by the department.

(2)  The department may develop an abbreviated admission agreement for patients whose length of stay is anticipated to be 14 days or less. This abbreviated agreement may be developed to coordinate with the standard admission agreement. If the patient’s stay exceeds 14 days, the nursing facility shall obtain agreement to the remainder of the standard admission agreement.

(3)  Nothing in this section shall prevent a skilled nursing facility, an intermediate care facility, or a nursing facility from distributing written explanations of facility-specific rules and procedures, provided that the written explanations are not included or incorporated in, or attached to the standard admission agreement, nor signed by the resident or his or her representative.

(c)  Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall apply to all new admissions to skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and nursing facilities that occur after December 31, 1999.

(d)  By January 1, 2000, the department shall consolidate and develop one comprehensive Patients’ Bill of Rights that includes the provisions contained in Chapter 3.9 (commencing with Section 1599), the regulatory resident rights for skilled nursing facilities under Section 72527 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, the regulatory resident rights for intermediate care facilities under Section 73523 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, and the rights afforded residents under Section 483.10 et seq. of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

This comprehensive Patients’ Bill of Rights shall be a mandatory attachment to all skilled nursing facility, intermediate care facility, and nursing facility contracts as specified in Section 1599.74 of this chapter.

(e)  By January 1, 2000, the department shall ensure the translation of the Patients’ Bill of Rights described in subdivision (d) into Spanish, Chinese, and other languages as needed to provide copies of the Patients’ Bill of Rights to members of any ethnic group that represents at least 1 percent of the state’s skilled nursing facility, intermediate care facility, and nursing facility population.

(f)  Translated copies of the Patients’ Bill of Rights shall be made available to all long-term health care facilities in the state, including skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and nursing facilities. It shall be the responsibility of the long-term health care facilities to duplicate and distribute the translated versions of the Patients’ Bill of Rights with admissions agreements, when appropriate.

(g)  Nothing in this section is intended to change existing statutory or regulatory requirements governing the care provided to nursing facility residents. Similarly, nothing in this section is intended to create a new cause of action against a skilled nursing facility, an intermediate care facility, or a nursing facility as defined in Section 1250, related to its compliance with those existing statutory or regulatory requirements governing the care provided to nursing facility residents.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 631, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1998.)

1599.62.
  

(a)  Contracts of admission shall not include unlawful waivers of facility liability for the health and safety or personal property of residents. No contract of admission shall include any provision which the facility knows or should know to be deceptive or unlawful under state or federal law.

(b)  Violation of this chapter shall result in a Class B citation or a deficiency from the department. For purposes of this section, the admission agreement shall be viewed as a whole and shall result in only one citation.

(c)  Unless otherwise expressly provided, the remedies or penalties provided by this chapter do not preclude a resident from seeking any other remedy and penalties available under all other laws of this state.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.63.
  

(a)  Every long-term health care facility shall make complete blank copies of its admission contract immediately available to the public at cost, upon request.

(b)  Every long-term health care facility shall post conspicuously in a location accessible to public view within the facility either a complete copy of its admission contract or notice of the availability of it from the facility.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.64.
  

(a) All abbreviated contracts of admission and contracts of admission shall be printed in black type of not less than 10-point type size, on plain white paper. The print shall appear on one side of the paper only.

(b) The contract shall be written in clear, coherent, and unambiguous language, using words with common and everyday meanings. It shall be appropriately divided, and each section captioned.

(c) The contract for a skilled nursing facility shall have an attachment that is placed before any other attachment and that shall disclose the name of the owner and licensee of the skilled nursing facility and the name and contact information of a single entity that is responsible for all aspects of patient care and the operation of the facility.

(d) An abbreviated contract of admission shall include a statement indicating that respite care services, as defined in Section 1418.1, provided by the skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility is not a Medi-Cal covered service and can only be provided by the facility on a private-pay or third-party payor basis, unless the person is participating in a Medicaid waiver program pursuant to Section 1396n of Title 42 of the United States Code, or other respite care service already covered by the Medi-Cal program.

(e) An abbreviated contract of admission shall specify the discharge date agreed to upon admission by the skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility and the person being admitted or his or her representative. This discharge date shall be binding as a ground for discharge in addition to any other ground for discharge pursuant to federal or state law and regulations.

(f) An abbreviated contract of admission shall include a statement informing the person being admitted for respite care services that the contract is designed specifically for the provision of respite care services and cannot be used for any other type of admission to the facility.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 532, Sec. 1. (AB 1457) Effective January 1, 2010.)

1599.645.
  

(a) Within 30 days of approval of a change of ownership by the State Department of Public Health, the skilled nursing facility shall send written notification to all current residents and patients and to the primary contacts listed in the admission agreement of each resident and patient. The notice shall disclose the name of the owner and licensee of the skilled nursing facility and the name and contact information of a single entity that is responsible for all aspects of patient care and the operation of the facility.

(b) The department shall accept a copy of the written notice and a copy of the list of individuals and mailing addresses to whom the facility sent the notification as satisfactory evidence that the facility provided the required written notification.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 328, Sec. 125. (SB 1330) Effective January 1, 2011.)

1599.65.
  

(a)  Prior to or at the time of admission, the facility shall make reasonable efforts to communicate the content of the contract to, and obtain on the contract the signature of, the person who is to be admitted to the facility. Unless the prospective resident has been declared legally incompetent or is unable to understand and sign the contract because of his or her medical condition, he or she shall sign or cosign the admission agreement. In the event the patient is unable to sign the contract, the reason shall be documented in the resident’s medical record by the admitting physician. This provision does not preclude the facility from obtaining the signature of an agent, responsible party, or a legal representative, if applicable.

(b)  The contract of admission for facilities certified to be reimbursed by Medi-Cal shall set forth, in bold capital letters of not less than 10-point type, the prohibition in Section 14110.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code that no facility may require or solicit as a condition of admission that a Medi-Cal beneficiary have a responsible party sign or cosign the contract of admission. If the Medi-Cal beneficiary has an agent, then the signature of the agent may be required on the contract of admission.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.651.
  

A person who seeks to be admitted to the same long-term health care facility for which there exists a prior executed contract of admission which was signed by that person, or his or her legal representative, responsible party, or agent, in accordance with this chapter shall not be required to execute a new contract of admission if the person, or his or her legal representative, responsible party, or agent, either prior to or upon readmission, signs a written statement prepared by the facility which lists the modifications to the contract of admission.

The written statement shall indicate the date upon which the person’s signature was obtained. The written statement shall be kept on file by the facility with the person’s previously signed contract of admission.

This section shall not apply to any person who has been declared legally incompetent subsequent to the time he or she signed the contract of admission. This section shall not apply to any person when the physician and surgeon of that person has determined that the person is unable to understand and sign the written statement because of his or her medical condition.

No written statement shall contain any provision that is prohibited from being included in a contract of admission.

A new contract of admission or a written statement which lists the modifications need not be signed by the person, or his or her legal representative, responsible party, or agent, in the case of a transfer during a bedhold period.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 353, Sec. 1.)

1599.652.
  

A person who seeks to be admitted to the same skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility to receive respite care services for which there already exists a prior executed abbreviated contract of admission which was signed by that person, or his or her legal representative or responsible party, in accordance with this chapter shall not be required to execute a new abbreviated contract of admission if the person, or his or her legal representative or responsible party, either prior to or upon admission, signs a written statement prepared by the facility which lists the modifications to the abbreviated contract of admission.

The written statement shall indicate the date upon which the person’s signature was obtained. The written statement shall be kept on file by the facility with the person’s previously signed abbreviated contract of admission.

This section shall not apply to any person who has been declared legally incompetent subsequent to the time he or she signed the abbreviated contract of admission. This section shall not apply to any person when the physician and surgeon of that person has determined that the person is unable to understand and sign the written statement because of his or her medical condition.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1329, Sec. 6. Effective September 26, 1990.)

1599.66.
  

Every contract of admission shall clearly and explicitly state whether the facility participates in the Medi-Cal program.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.67.
  

(a)  Every contract of admission shall state clearly what services and supplies are covered by the facility’s basic daily rate. In addition, the agreement shall specify in detail which services are optional, and the charges for these services, and indicate that residents will receive monthly statements itemizing all charges incurred by them.

(b)  The contract of a facility that is a provider pursuant to Medicare, or Medi-Cal, or both, shall state that optional and covered services may be different for residents in those programs than for private pay residents. When a resident converts from Medicare or private pay to Medi-Cal, the facility shall give the resident a form listing Medi-Cal optional and covered services.

(c)  Every contract of admission shall clearly state that the facility is required by law to provide no less than 30 days written notice to the residents of any increase for optional services or in the daily room rate charged by the facility, except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 1288.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.68.
  

Any long-term health care facility that imposes interest charges on delinquent accounts shall clearly state in the contract of admission the rate of interest so charged and the method of computation.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.69.
  

(a)  The contract of admission for any long-term health care facility that is a Medi-Cal certified facility shall state in bold capital letters of not less than 10-point type that neither the prospective resident, nor his or her representative, may be required to pay privately for any period during which the resident has been approved for payment by Medi-Cal, and that as provided by Section 14019.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, upon presentation of the Medi-Cal card or other proof of eligibility, the facility shall submit a Medi-Cal claim for reimbursement, subject to the rules and regulations of the Medi-Cal program, and the facility shall return any and all payments made by the beneficiary, or any person on behalf of the beneficiary, for Medi-Cal program covered services upon receipt of Medi-Cal payment. The contract shall state in bold capital letters of not less than 10-point type that no certified facility may require as a condition of admission, either in its contract of admission or by oral promise prior to signing the contract, that residents remain in private pay status for a specified period of time.

(b)  No contract of admission may require notice of a resident’s intent to convert to Medi-Cal status prior to the date of the resident’s application for Medi-Cal status. This subdivision does not preclude the facility from requesting notice from a resident who has been admitted.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.70.
  

(a)  No contract of admission may require a security deposit from a Medi-Cal beneficiary who applies for admission to the facility as a Medi-Cal patient.

(b)  Any security deposit from a person paying privately upon admission shall be returned within 14 days of the private account being closed, or first Medi-Cal payment, whichever is later, and with no deduction for administration or handling charges.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.71.
  

(a)  No contract of admission shall require the resident to pay for days beyond the date of his or her death or involuntary discharge from the facility, except that a facility may charge the resident for a maximum of three days at the basic daily rate in the event that the resident is voluntarily discharged from the facility less than three days following his or her admission. This section does not affect the provision for a maximum of seven days’ payment under the bedhold regulation as specified in Section 72520 of Title 22 of the California Administrative Code.

(b)  No contract of admission shall require advance notice of voluntary discharge from a facility.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.72.
  

No contract of admission shall include a clause requiring residents to sign a consent to all treatment ordered by any physician. Contracts of admission may require consent only for routine nursing care or emergency care. The admission contract shall contain a clause which informs the patient of the right to refuse treatments as set forth in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 72527 of Title 22 of the California Administrative Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.73.
  

(a)  Every contract of admission shall state that residents have a right to confidential treatment of medical information.

(b)  The contract shall provide a means by which the resident may authorize the disclosure of information to specific persons, by attachment of a separate sheet that conforms to the specifications of Section 56 of the Civil Code. After admission, the facility shall encourage residents having capacity to make health care decisions to execute an advance health care directive in the event that he or she becomes unable to give consent for disclosure. The facility shall make available upon request to the long-term care ombudsman a list of newly admitted patients.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 658, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2000. Operative July 1, 2000, by Sec. 43 of Ch. 658.)

1599.74.
  

(a)  The department shall translate both the statutory Patients’ Bill of Rights, as provided in Chapter 3.9 (commencing with Section 1599), the regulatory Patients’ Bill of Rights for Skilled Nursing Facilities (commencing with Section 72527 of Title 22 of the California Administrative Code), and, if appropriate, the regulatory Patients’ Bill of Rights for Intermediate Care Facilities (commencing with Section 73523 of Title 22 of the California Administrative Code), into Spanish and Chinese, and into other languages as needed for ethnic groups representing 1 percent or more of the nursing home population in the state. The department shall also translate the Patients’ Bill of Rights into Braille or have it recorded for the use of blind patients, or both. These translations shall be sent to all long-term health care facilities in the state.

(b)  Every contract of admission shall contain a complete copy of both the statutory and regulatory Patients’ Bill of Rights. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the text of the Patients’ Bill of Rights shall be in legible print of no less than 12-point type. If a translation has been provided by the department, the text given to non-English-speaking residents shall be in their language.

(c)  The contract shall also contain a separate written acknowledgement that the resident has been informed of the Patients’ Bill of Rights.

Written acknowledgement by the resident or the resident’s representative must be made either on a separate document or in the agreement itself next to the clause informing the resident of these regulatory rights. Written acknowledgement by use of the signature on the agreement as a whole does not meet this requirement.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 550, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

1599.75.
  

(a)  When referring to a resident’s obligation to observe facility rules, the contract of admission shall indicate that the rules must be reasonable, and that there is a facility procedure for suggesting changes in the rules.

(b)  The contract of admission shall specify that a copy of the facility grievance procedure, for resolution of resident complaints about facility practices, is available.

(c)  The agreement shall also inform residents of their right to contact the State Department of Health Services or the long-term care ombudsman, or both, regarding grievances against the facility.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.76.
  

(a)  No contract of admission shall list any ground for involuntary transfer or discharge of the resident except those grounds which are specifically enumerated in either federal or state law.

(b)  Every contract of admission to a long-term health care facility that participates in the Medi-Cal program shall state that the facility may not transfer or seek to evict any resident solely as a result of the resident changing his or her manner of purchasing the services from private payment or Medicare to Medi-Cal.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.77.
  

With respect to transfer or eviction of a resident pursuant to Section 1439.7:

(a)  Contracts of admission shall speak only of “material” or “fraudulent” misrepresentation of finances as possible grounds for discharge under that section.

(b)  All contracts of admission shall state that the resident may file a complaint with the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or the department, or both, regarding any notice of discharge for material or fraudulent misrepresentation.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.78.
  

All contracts of admission shall state that except in an emergency, no resident may be involuntarily transferred within or discharged from a long-term health care facility unless he or she is given reasonable notice in writing and transfer or discharge planning as required by law. The written notice shall state the reason for the transfer or discharge. The facility shall immediately notify the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in every case of involuntary discharge as specified in Section 1439.7.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1360, Sec. 86.)

1599.79.
  

Every contract of admission shall meet the requirements of Section 72520 of Title 22 of the California Administrative Code, which requires that the facility offer to hold a bed for the resident in the event the resident must be transferred to an acute care hospital for seven days or less. The facility shall also give the resident, or a representative for the resident, notice of the rights to a bedhold at the time of transfer. The resident or representative for the resident has 24 hours from receipt of notice to request the bedhold. The contract of admission shall state that the facility shall offer the next available appropriate bed to the resident in the event the facility fails to follow this required procedure. The facility shall inform the resident that Medi-Cal will pay for up to seven bedhold days.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.80.
  

Facilities that wish to photograph a resident for other than staff identification or health care purposes shall obtain permission from the resident whether for one photograph or for multiple photographs for one particular purpose on a document separate from the admission contract as a whole. This document shall describe the specific use to be made of the photograph and indicate that the photograph will be used only for that purpose.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.81.
  

(a)  All contracts of admission that contain an arbitration clause shall clearly indicate that agreement to arbitration is not a precondition for medical treatment or for admission to the facility.

(b)  All arbitration clauses shall be included on a form separate from the rest of the admission contract. This attachment shall contain space for the signature of any applicant who agrees to arbitration of disputes.

(c)  On the attachments, clauses referring to arbitration of medical malpractice claims, as provided for under Section 1295 of the Code of Civil Procedure, shall be clearly separated from other arbitration clauses, and separate signatures shall be required for each clause.

(d)  In the event the contract contains an arbitration clause, the contract attachment pertaining to arbitration shall contain notice that under Section 1430, the patient may not waive his or her ability to sue for violation of the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.82.
  

No contract of admission shall include a clause that purports to alter the statutory period for filing an action against a facility.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.83.
  

If a provision for the payment of attorney’s fees is included in the admission contract, it shall state that in disputes arising from the admission contract, the prevailing party shall be entitled to attorney’s fees.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 625, Sec. 1.)

1599.84.
  

This chapter applies to new admissions to skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities on and after January 1, 1988. This chapter shall not be construed to require the execution of new admission agreements for patients who were residing in those facilities prior to the enactment of this chapter. However, those patients shall be given notice of changes in admission contracts pursuant to this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 98.)

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