Knowing your residents’ rights and following required procedures can prevent unnecessary accusations later on from residents and their family, as well as avoid citations from licensing. While there are numerous regulations governing resident rights, there are several common ones that are easily preventable.
HSC 1569.153 requires RCFEs to have a theft and loss program and maintain a detailed and up-to-date inventory of resident personal property and valuables. Community Care Licensing provides a standard LIC 621 form to keep track of this information. Sometimes, this form is not updated when friends or family visit and gives the resident additional items like coat hangers or bed sheet protectors. Train staff to look for new items and give the resident or their family an opportunity to update the list. Similarly, if an item is removed, staff should ask the resident or their family to sign off on deleting it from the inventory. By proactively demonstrating that your facility already has careful checks in place, stressful and time-consuming disputes might be avoided if personal articles go missing later.
View this link for a copy of the LIC 621 form: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/cdssweb/entres/forms/English/LIC621.PDF
HSC 1569.655 requires a 60-day notice for fee increases. With the recent and rapid cost increases due to inflation, licensees may be tempted to quickly raise rates to cover their own sudden increased expenses, without giving sufficient notice. Licensees may also be under the incorrect assumption that a 30-day notice is sufficient as with traditional real estate rental property. Several facilities in San Diego County have been cited recently for failing to give residents a proper 60-day notice. Since these notices are documented in writing, an improper notice often results in a substantiated complaint.
HSC 1569.269 lists the resident’s Bill of Rights. Licensees should ensure that they have the staff capable of providing agreed services to the resident they admit. For example, a facility may admit a heavier resident and agree to shower them, but later find out they do not have staff capable of moving the resident into the shower, and instead opt for a sponge bath in their bed. This may result in a citation.
HSC 1568.074 was chaptered in 2021, and requires the facility to provide a “computer, smart phone, tablet, or other device, that can support real-time interactive applications, is equipped with videoconferencing technology, include microphone and camera functions, and is dedicated for client use.” Some facilities ask caregivers to let residents borrow their personal devices to make video calls with family. However, the new law specifically mentions the device should be “dedicated for client or residential use.”
New rules are constantly being introduced. It is important to stay up to date with the PINs (Provider Information Notices) as well as attend CE (Continuing Education) classes on RCFE laws and updates. Sharing the information with caregivers to keep them informed will also allow resident rights to be enforced across the team, especially when the administrator is not present.