The Senate Health Committee approved Senate Bill 648, which will protect seniors and their families from elder care referral agencies that engage in unscrupulous business practices. It will also strenghten the licensing and financial disclosure requirements for the hundreds of referral agencies in California, according to Calif. Senator Tony Medoza’s website.
“My bill requires a more transparent process so that seniors will be able to make a more informed decision about what long term care options are available,” said Mendoza, author of the bill.
SB 648 also includes the following:
- Require a referral agency to disclose any fiancial interest shared with a care facility, including all fees, commissions received, and other financial benefits resulting from the placement.
- Require disclosure of how often a referral agency has inspected a facility; and, a notice advising clients as to where complaints can be directed.
- Require the referral agency to protect the medical privacy of seniors by prohiting the sharing of a client’s personal information.
- Require the referral agency to maintain liability insurance, and prohibits the referral agency from holding any power of attorney or property of a client.
- Add “residential care facility for the elderly” to the definition of referral agency for licensing purposes.
The bill will now go to the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.