CDCAN DISABILITY RIGHTS REPORT
CALIFORNIA DISABILITY COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK
#133-2012 – August 16, 2012 – Thursday Night
Advocacy Without Borders: One Community – Accountability With Action
ASSEMBLY PASSES CONTROVERSIAL “HOME CARE SERVICES ACT OF 2012” BILL – SB 411 HEADS BACK TO STATE SENATE FOR FINAL VOTE
- Bill Impacts Private Sector Home Care Organizations and Home Care Aides
- Would Put In Place Licensure for Those Provider Organizations and Certification Requirements for Approximately 70,000 Home Care Aides
SACRAMENTO, CA (CDCAN) [Last updated 08/16/2012 7:00 PM] – The Assembly passed by a vote of 42 to 25 Thursday afternoon controversial legislation that would establish the “Home Care Services Act of 2012” including licensure of private home care organizations, authorizes the creation of a statewide registry and imposes certain certification requirements for an estimated 70,000 private home care workers in California who provide non-medical home care services. The bill, SB 411 as last amended August 13th, by Sen. Curren Price (Democrat – Los Angeles, 26th State Senate District), heads back to the State Senate for a final vote before the legislative session ends August 31st.
The bill would, beginning July 1, 2013, require a license for all home care organizations (HCO) as defined (with several specific exceptions); establish a certification requirement for all home care aides beginning January 1, 2013 including criminal background clearance, screened for tuberculosis screening, and be required to complete training.
SEVERAL PROGRAMS COVER IN-HOME CARE
The legislation applies to private home care agencies or organizations who employ home care aides who provide many of the same services provided by home health aides (but do not perform any medical services such as changing non-sterile dressings, taking vital signs) and similar to IHSS and Supported Living Services workers. Private home care agencies or organizations are one of the four major programs that provide in-home care to people with disabilities and seniors. The other three major programs – not covered by the bill are:
- In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) – funded by federal, state and local county funds, overseen statewide by the Department of Social Services and administered locally by the counties for eligible persons with disabilities, the blind and seniors.
- Home Health Agencies – these agencies are licensed by the Department of Public Health to provide both skilled nursing and non-medical personal assistance services. Home health aides assist persons with disabilities and seniors who they serve, with personal services under a plan of treatment authorized by a doctor.
- Supported Living Services (SLS) – program, similar in many respects to IHSS, provided by individuals and organizations for eligible persons with developmental disabilities under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, with funding coordinated by the 21 non-profit regional centers under contract with the Department of Developmental Services.
WHAT AND WHO THE BILL COVERS
- Establishes the “Home Care Services Act of 2012”
- Designates the Department of Social Services (DSS) to administer and enforce the law.
- Defines “home care aide” as an individual who provides home care services to a person in the person’s home, and includes a person who qualifies as a personal attendant as defined by Wage Order 15 as issued by the Industrial Welfare Commission.
- “Home care aide” does NOT include either a family member, as defined in the bill or a person employed by a vendor or contractor of a regional center or the Department of Developmental Services providing services to people with developmental disabilities under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act or the California Early Intervention Services Act, when funding is provided through the Department of Developmental Services and more than 50% of the recipients of the organization are people with developmental disabilities.
- Defines “home care organization” (HCO) as an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, joint venture, association, or other entity that arranges for the provision of home care services by a home care aide to a person in that person’s home.
- Defines that “home care organization” does NOT include a home health agency; a licensed hospice; a health facility; a licensed home medical device retail facility; a residential care facility for the elderly; a vendor or contractor of a regional center or the Department of Developmental Services providing services to people with developmental disabilities under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act or the California Early Intervention Services Act, when funding is provided through the Department of Developmental Services and more than 50% of the recipients of the organization are people with developmental disabilities; an employment agency as defined in Civil Code Section 1812.5095 that is not the employer of home care aides or other workers who provide assistance with activities of daily living; or, a county providing in-home supportive services under the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program.
- Defines “home care services” as services provided by a home care aide to a client who, because of advanced age or physical or mental infirmity, cannot perform these services for himself or herself.
- Defines that “home care services” does NOT include services provided by a licensed home health agency; a licensed hospice; a licensed health facility; a licensed residential care facility for the elderly; the adherents of and in connection with the practice of the religious tenets of any well recognized church or denomination, so long as they do not otherwise engage in the practice of nursing; or, services provided under the IHSS program.
- Defines “Employment Agency” as an agency that procures, offers, refers, provides, or attempts to provide, but is not the employer of, a home care aide who provides home care services to persons under Civil Code Section 1812.5095, as long as the agency does not employ a home care aide or a person who assists with activities of daily living of that person who receives services.
SUPPORTERS SAY PROTECTIONS NEEDED FOR VULNERABLE POPULATION
Supporters of the bill claim the measure is needed to put in place needed protections for seniors and people with disabilities and others who are not eligible financially for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), or eligible for similar in-home (supported living) services funded through the 21 non-profit regional centers for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (Democrat – Long Beach, 54th Assembly District) who managed the bill on the Assembly floor, said the legislation was simply about “consumer protection” and would ensure “…that the workforce that we depend on for the care of some of the most vulnerable is adequately trained, safe and accountable.”
Lowenthal said that while steps have been taken in recent years by the State to “…ensure training and safety in publicly funded programs”, such services provided by private home care organizations and home care aides have no such requirements or required background checks and that certification would create a “level playing field” for all private agencies that would result in better services for vulnerable Californians and their families.
Lowenthal said the statewide registry – if created by the Department of Social Services – would not contain any private or confidential information of individual workers.
The SEIU (Service Employees International Union), the sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would allow California “…to take small steps to begin to build a cohesive system of care and oversight” for people with disabilities and seniors, a step that SEIU says 28 other states have already taken.
OPPONENTS SAY BILL CREATES UNNECESSARY COSTLY REGULATION
Opponents of the bill, including nearly all of the Assembly Republicans and many home care organizations and home care aides, raised concerns that the bill would create unnecessary, excessive and costly regulations that would drive up costs for providers and mean less workers and services for those people with disabilities and seniors who need it.
The lone Assembly Democrat to rise in opposition to the measure, Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (Democrat – Davis, 8th Assembly District), chair of the Assembly Aging and Long Term Care Committee, while agreeing with some parts of the legislation, “reluctantly” opposed the bill, raising concerns about unresolved privacy issues. Yamada authored a bill – AB 899 – that covered that same subject, but that measure died in Assembly Appropriations Committee in May 2011.
Yamada also noted the fact that the bill was held on the Assembly floor for the past year before action was taken today, saying that “…and we all understand that there are reasons for that…” alluding to a common legislative tactic of moving controversial policy bills during the last days of session to help diminish public scrutiny and opposition.
Yamada noted that there were “…very good parts to SB 411” but that the bill, due to Assembly rules regarding which committees have jurisdiction over certain bills, was only heard in one Assembly policy committee – Assembly Human Services – and not the Assembly Aging and Long Term Care Committee, which she says could have provided more input on the impact of the legislation to the full Assembly.
Yamada said there were concerns about personal information of home care providers in the private sector that could be included in a yet to be created internet registry, saying that the issue “…remains a very significant point of opposition to the bill. We understand the sponsors of the bill will place a letter in the [Assembly Daily] Journal that there is no intent to place personal information on the website. I think this kind of policy warrants more than a letter to a journal for those kinds of assurances…”
She underscored the importance of the issue as “…the balance between middle class affordability for homecare services and the right of privacy not only for workers but also for the consumers of these services.”
Yamada, widely respected by disability and senior advocates across the State, also raised the concern of two different systems of background checks, saying that one of them – called “Live Scan”, would mean a worker would have to reapply and potentially bear the cost of a background check under that system each time, if that person went to work for a different home care organization
SUMMARY OF LEGISLATION
SB 411 – HOME CARE SERVICES ACT OF 2012
AUTHOR: Sen. Curren Price, Jr. (Democrat – Los Angeles, 26th State Senate District)
Establishes “Home Care Services Act of 2012”.
LATEST ACTION 08/16/2012: PASSED Assembly.
NEXT STEPS: Heads back to State Senate for final vote (concurrence or approval of amendments to the bill made in the Assembly).
LATEST COPY OF BILL (AS AMENDED 08/13/2012) – HTML: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0401-0450/sb_411_bill_20120813_amended_asm_v89.html
LATEST COPY OF BILL (AS AMENDED 08/13/2012) – 26 PAGE PDF: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0401-0450/sb_411_bill_20120813_amended_asm_v89.pdf
CDCAN COMMENT: The Senate must take action on the bill by August 31, 2012 (Friday), which is the final day of the 2012 Legislative session. If the bill passes the Senate, it then goes to the Governor.
SB 411 CDCAN VOTE RECORD REPORT
(INTIAL VOTE BEFORE VOTE CHANGES AND ADDITIONS)
LATEST ACTION 08/16/2012: PASSED Assembly by vote of 42 to 25.
TOTAL VOTING YES – 42
DEMOCRATS VOTING YES (42): Tom Ammiano, Toni Atkins, Jim Beall, Marty Block, Bob Blumenfield, Susan Bonilla, Steven Bradford, Julia Brownley, Joan Buchanan, Betsy Butler, Charles Calderon, Nora Campos, Wilmer Amina Carter, Wesley Chesbro, Roger Dickinson, Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Paul Fong, Felipe Fuentes, Warren Furutani, Cathleen Galgiani, Richard Gordon, Isadore Hall, Mary Hayashi, Roger Hernandez, Alyson Huber, Ben Hueso, Bonnie Lowenthal, Fiona Ma, Tony Mendoza, Holly Mitchell, Bill Monning, Richard Pan, Henry Perea, V. Manual Perez, Anthony Portantino, Nancy Skinner, Jose Solorio, Sandre Swanson, Norma Torres, Bob Wieckowski, and Das Williams.
REPUBLICANS VOTING YES (0): ***NONE***
TOTAL VOTING NO – 25
DEMOCRATS VOTING NO (1): Mariko Yamada
REPUBLICANS VOTING NO (24): Katcho Achadjian, Bill Berryhill, Connie Conway (Republican Leader), Tim Donnelly, Beth Gaines, Martin Garrick, Jeff Gorell, Shannon Grove, Curt Hagman, Linda Halderman, Diane Harkey, Kevin Jefferies, Brian Jones, Steve Knight, Dan Logue, Allan Mansoor, Jeff Miller, Mike Morrell, Jim Nielsen, Kristin Olsen, Jim Silva, Cameron Smyth, David Valadao, and Donald Wagner
NOT VOTING OR ABSENT – 13
DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING OR ABSENT (9): Luis Alejo, Michael Allen, Gil Cedillo, Mike Davis, Mike Gatto, Jerry Hill, Jared Huffman, Ricardo Lara, and John Perez (Assembly Speaker)
REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING OR ABSENT (3): Paul Cook, Brian Nestande, and Chris Norby
INDEPENDENT NOT VOTING OR ABSENT (1): Nathan Fletcher
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