Credit: Audtakorn Sutarmjam / EyeEm/Getty Images Plus

California lawmakers are continuing to press for some of the nation’s toughest requirements for potential nursing home buyers. 

Assembly Bill 1502 would prohibit entities from acquiring and operating a skilled nursing facility in the state without first obtaining a license from the Department of Public Health.

Operators also would need to show their Medicare and Medicaid cost reports from the last five years for all nursing facilities they own or manage under the measure. In addition, licensing applications and related documents would be made public by the department.

The bill also would prohibit the operation of a nursing home before the licensing application is approved, if an application is denied, or if the facility’s owners acquired the property without first applying for and obtaining a license. 

Violators would face up to $10,000 in penalties. The measure has cleared the state’s Assembly and is currently under review with the Senate Health Committee. 

Assembly member and the bill’s author Al Muratsuchi (D) told KHN on Monday that several of the state’s nursing home owners and operators do operate without a license even after they’ve been denied a license. 

“Many of these owners and operators have, unfortunately, an extensive history of neglect and abuse,” he claimed. 

However, the California Association of Health Facilities has argued that the bill doesn’t consider the state’s complex regulatory environment and would create extensive disclosure requirements on ownership applications that “in many cases would fill an entire room with boxes and boxes of paper.”

The measure would “eliminate the ability for most current owners in California to actually apply or even apply for a change of ownership,” a lobbyist for the association said.