The Department of Social Services will be enforcing three new laws in 2015, most of which affects smaller providers for residential and elderly care facilities. The California State legislature has passed these laws in an effort to raise quality of life for residents and keep facility staff prepared for emergencies and accidents.

The Community Care Licensing Division of the Department of Social Services is responsible for inspecting retirement homes, senior housing facilities and those for elderly care and ensure that all past, present and new laws are abided by.

AB 2044 In Effect January 1, 2015

AB 2044 was created in regards to residential care facilities for the elderly. As written on the Social Services website, the main portions of the bill are:

  • Require that at least one administrator, facility manager, or designated substitute who is at least 21 years of age and has adequate qualifications, as specified, be on the premise of the facility 24 hours per day.
  • Require the facility to employ, and the administrator to schedule, a sufficient number of staff members, as prescribed.
  • Require that this training also include building and fire safety and the appropriate response to emergencies.

The person appointed is in charge of facility and staff matters in the absence of the administrator, they must know CPR and respond to emergency situations as prescribed by facility procedures. Either the administrator or substitute appointee must be available 24/7 while the facility is in operation, regardless if it is a retirement facility for sale.

AB 2171 In Effect January 1, 2015

AB 2171 regards the rights of residents inhabiting residential care facilities and the proper notification of these rights. This bill states that a resident has the right to:

  • Be accorded dignity in their personal relationships with staff
  • Granted a reasonable level of personal privacy of accommodations, medical treatment, personal care and assistance
  • Confidential treatment of their records and personal information, as specified.
  • Written notice of any room changes at least 30 days in advance unless the request for a change is agreed to by the resident, required to fill a vacant bed, or necessary due to an emergency.
  • Receive written information on the right to establish an advanced health care directive, and, pursuant to Section 1569.156, the licensee’s written policies on honoring those directives.
  • Require, at admission, a facility staff person to personally advise a resident and the resident’s representative, as described, of these and other specified rights and to provide them with a written copy of these rights.
  • At admission, a facility staff person shall personally advise a resident and the resident’s representative of, and give a complete written copy of, the rights in this article and the personal rights in Section 87468 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. The licensee shall have each resident and the resident’s representative sign and date a copy of the resident’s rights, and the licensee shall include the signed and dated copy in the resident’s record.
  • Licensees shall prominently post, in areas accessible to the residents and their representatives, a copy of residents’ rights.
  • The rights posted pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be posted both in English and in any other language in a facility in which 5 percent or more of the residents can only read that other language.
  • The licensee shall provide initial and ongoing training for all members of its staff to ensure that residents’ rights are fully respected and implemented.

AB 2171 also calls for the right for residents to create a resident council pursuant to Section 1579.157

In the event a residents’ council is formed, a liaison must be appointed to act between the established council and management staff.

AB 1523 In Effect July 1, 2015

AB 1523 specifically affects small providers of residential care facilities for the elderly except those designated as continuing care retirement communities. This bill states each facility must:

  • Maintain liability insurance covering injury to residents and guests in the amount of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence and three million dollars ($3,000,000) in the total annual aggregate, caused by the negligent acts or omissions to act of, or neglect by, the licensee or its employees.

A summarized list of these laws and its subdivisions is available at

Consequences for Dissent

Residential care facilities in California that fail to abide by these new laws are subject to penalties. Licensed facilities are cited for infractions and depending on the type of infraction, may receive a monetary fine per occurrence. Citations are kept on record at the Department of Social Services and available to the public. If a facility continues to fail to uphold these laws, ignoring warnings and citations, licenses can be revoked. Facilities that continue to operate without a license are issued a Notice of Operation in Violation of Law and prosecuted for criminal charges.

The Healthcare Brokerage of Choice

As the skilled nursing and assisted living brokerage people trust, The JCH Group has helped operators of every experience level find the right skilled nursing, assisted living or congregate care facility for sale. Our team members are responsible for navigating and closing some of the biggest deals when it to comes to buying residential care homes for sale.

If you have a care home for sale or are considering selling assisted living or skilled nursing facilities or are searching to purchase skilled nursing properties and assisted living properties for sale, The JCH Group is ready to assist you in making the most profitable transaction possible.

For questions on these new laws or your complimentary business valuation, contact The JCH Group at your earliest convenience.

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