California Health and Safety Code Section 1276.65

1276.65. (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Direct caregiver means a registered nurse, as referred to in Section 2732 of the Business and Professions Code, a licensed vocational nurse, as referred to in Section 2864 of the Business and Professions Code, a psychiatric technician, as referred to in Section 4516 of the Business and Professions Code, and a certified nurse assistant, as defined in Section 1337.

(2) Skilled nursing facility means a skilled nursing facility as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1250.

(b) A person employed to provide services such as food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, or maintenance services shall not provide nursing care to residents and shall not be counted in determining ratios under this section.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State Department of Health Services shall develop regulations that become effective August 1, 2003, that establish staff-to-patient ratios for direct caregivers working in a skilled nursing facility. These ratios shall include separate licensed nurse staff-to-patient ratios in addition to the ratios established for other direct caregivers.

(2) The department, in developing staff-to-patient ratios for direct caregivers and licensed nurses required by this section, shall convert the existing requirement under Section 1276.5 of this code and Section 14110.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code for 3.2 nursing hours per patient day of care and shall ensure that no less care is given than is required pursuant to Section 1276.5 of this code and Section 14110.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Further, the department shall develop the ratios in a manner that minimizes additional state costs, maximizes resident access to care, and takes into account the length of the shift worked. In developing the regulations, the department shall develop a procedure for facilities to apply for a waiver that addresses individual patient needs except that in no instance shall the minimum staff-to-patient ratios be less than the 3.2 nursing hours per patient day required under Section 1276.5 of this code and Section 14110.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(d) The staffing ratios to be developed pursuant to this section shall be minimum standards only. Skilled nursing facilities shall employ and schedule additional staff as needed to ensure quality resident care based on the needs of individual residents and to ensure compliance with all relevant state and federal staffing requirements.

(e) No later than January 1, 2006, and every five years thereafter, the department shall consult with consumers, consumer advocates, recognized collective bargaining agents, and providers to determine the sufficiency of the staffing standards provided in this section and may adopt regulations to increase the minimum staffing ratios to adequate levels.

(f) In a manner pursuant to federal requirements, effective January 1, 2003, every skilled nursing facility shall post information about staffing levels that includes the current number of licensed and unlicensed nursing staff directly responsible for resident care in the facility. This posting shall include staffing requirements developed pursuant to this section.

(g) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall inspect for compliance with this section during state and federal periodic inspections, including, but not limited to, those inspections required under Section 1422. This inspection requirement shall not limit the department s authority in other circumstances to cite for violations of this section or to inspect for compliance with this section.

(2) A violation of the regulations developed pursuant to this section may constitute a class B, A, or AA violation pursuant to the standards set forth in Section 1424.

(h) The requirements of this section are in addition to any requirement set forth in Section 1276.5 of this code and Section 14110.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(i) Initial implementation of the staffing ratio developed pursuant to requirements set forth in this section shall be contingent on an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute.

(j) In implementing this section, the department may contract as necessary, on a bid or nonbid basis, for professional consulting services from nationally recognized higher education and research institutions, or other qualified individuals and entities not associated with a skilled nursing facility, with demonstrated expertise in long-term care. This subdivision establishes an accelerated process for issuing contracts pursuant to this section and contracts entered into pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 10100) and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10290) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.

(k) This section shall not apply to facilities defined in Section 1276.9.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 664, Sec. 128.5. Effective January 1, 2003.)

Section: Previous  1276.05  1276.1  1276.2  1276.3  1276.4  1276.5  1276.6  1276.65  1276.7  1276.8  1276.9  1277  1278  1278.5  1279  Next

Last modified: September 9, 2016