Empty nursing home bed and wheelchair
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A measure aimed at strengthening California’s licensing requirements for potential buyers of skilled nursing facilities has begun to lose steam among some lawmakers following changes that reshaped the proposal.

An amended version of the bill, AB 1502, would still prohibit a person or applicant from acquiring and operating a SNF in the state without first obtaining a licensing from the Department of Public Health. 

The updated proposal, however, removes language that would have required potential operators to show their Medicare and Medicaid cost reports from the last five years for all nursing facilities they own or manage under the measure.

Instead, it now requires applicants to provide evidence that they are “reputable and responsible to assume the license or management and evidence of specified financial capacity.” That rule would begin July 1, 2023. 

The proposal would also require a SNF licensure applicant to report any changes in information in an application 30 days prior to that change. 

The toned down language led several proponents to rethink their support for the legislation, with at least one calling the latest version a “step backward.” 

The bill’s author, Assembly member Al Muratsuchi (D), however, said  “even though it’s not exactly what we started with, that the essence and the substance of the original bill is, by and large, still in the amended version.”

The California Association of Health Facilities has not weighed in on the amended measure after strongly opposing the original version.

A spokesman told local media the state’s change-of-ownership process “needs to be reformed to ensure the timely and expedited review of licensure applications so that licensure application requirements are reasonable with minimal disruptions to patient access to long term care services.”