LeadingAge California-Sponsored Bill To Expand Skilled Nursing Facility Special Services Introduced in Legislature

A LeadingAge California-sponsored bill that would allow skilled nursing facilities (SNF) to provide additional special services other than those currently allowed in state law was introduced in the legislature last week.

AB 2341, authored by Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), would clarify that SNFs can seek approval for licensure for special services other than: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, speech pathology, audiology, social work services, and special treatment program services. The proposal would permit these special services to be provided to both residents of the SNF or on an outpatient basis.

Currently, California law does not allow the California Department of Public Health to license additional special services without first establishing standards for quality care through the regulatory process. Unfortunately, the department has a considerable backlog of mandated and outdated regulations which would delay the implementation of any new regulations for years.

AB 2341 would allow a community to provide a broader array of services for their residents without having to transport those residents out of the community. Furthermore, AB 2341 would allow communities to provide these additional services to the community-at-large.

AB 2341 must wait 30 days before being heard in the Assembly Health Committee, therefore, we anticipate that the bill will be heard sometime in late March. As we get closer to the hearing date, we would ask all LeadingAge California members to voice their support for the measure by submitting comment letters to the bill author and Health Committee members.