Governor Signs Bill by Assemblymember Jim Wood Increasing Transparency for Nursing Homes

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

SACRAMENTO—On Friday, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., signed AB 1953 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) which requires owners of long-term care facilities to report more information on how they use related-party businesses in their operations.

Following an attempted closure of three skilled nursing facilities in Eureka by the owner Brius Healthcare, and the potential displacement of more than 100 residents, Wood worked with Humboldt community members and Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) to successfully prevent two of those closures.

“During my visits to those facilities and further investigation into the business operations of Brius, we learned that they were using companies they owned to provide services to the facilities. Although there is nothing technically illegal with using ‘related-party companies,’ my bill AB 1953 will now ensure transparency and reporting that will allow us to make sure that these companies are not being used to generate excessive profits for the owners of these facilities on the backs of the residents.”

A report requested by Wood and McGuire and conducted by the State Auditor, raised many concerns about the business practices of Brius causing Wood and McGuire to request an audit of that company and skilled nursing facilities, in general, by the State Auditor. “That report was published in May,” said Wood, “and our bill was ready to address many of the issues raised in the audit. We appreciate the Governor’s acknowledgement that more transparency is a good thing, especially for the residents of these facilities and their families.”

“This new law will provide additional transparency for patients, families and the community at large,” said McGuire. “AB 1953 ensures that accurate data is collected regarding skilled nursing facility third-party transactions, such as what services are provided, for how much money, and how those costs potentially affect facility staffing rates. I’m grateful for Assemblymember Wood’s leadership and have appreciated the chance to work with him to get the bill passed.”

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Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Santa Rosa) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.

Visit Assemblymember Jim Wood’s website, Facebook or Twitter @JimWoodAD2