Recently, Governor Brown signed several bills that were part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014. These bills became effective in 2015 and will help protect residents at Residential Care Facilities (RCFE) from abuse and/or neglect. The bills will implement several changes, including, increasing staffing at RCFEs and increasing fines/penalties against RCFEs that mistreat residents. Other portion of the bill will require that RCFEs have liability insurance. These bills were the result of several organizations’ efforts, including Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), Elderly Law & Advocacy, Consumer Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), Hazel’s Army and Stand Up for Rose.
One of the bills requires that increased staff be on the premises of the RCFE 24/7. RCFEs can cut corners by lowering staffing and increasing profits at the expense of residents’ safety. Increased staffing helps ensure that residents can be provided all the care they need and also ensure that if a medical emergency arises, it is dealt with quickly. This bill will help ensure residents are protected.
Also, as part of the bills, beginning in 2015, all Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) will be required to carry liability insurance. This bill will help to ensure that RCFEs can be held accountable if they are responsible for a resident being neglected and/or abused. Prior to this bill, if an RCFE abused or neglected a resident, they could simply declare bankruptcy and become judgment proof. This would discourage a resident and/or their family from pursuing civil remedies against the facility. Moreover, requiring RCFEs to have insurance will hopefully make it unaffordable for any RCFE that consistently mistreats residents to continue operation.
Overall these bills will help ensure that residents at RCFEs are protected from abuse and neglect and will help hold RCFEs accountable if any residents are harmed at these facilities.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of Elder Abuse, contact Pick Law today!