California, Department of Social Services, Budget Headaches

If you have been following the news, the California Budget will have an impact, again, on Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (CCL). The expected increase in Licensed Program Analysts’ (LPA) visits to residential communities will not be taking place. Many providers have gone years since a licensing visit. In some regions CCL is lucky to just keep up with complaint visits.

While there is perhaps a feeling in all of us to celebrate that we do not have “worry about licensing,” unfortunately there can be a definite down side. The majority of providers do a fantastic job of compliance. Following the regulations is just part of your day to day operations. However, it is human nature that when things get busy to focus on the critical issues, and sometimes the mundane can be forgotten. When CCL is not visiting us regularly, it becomes all too easy for us to gloss over compliance issues that are not a part of our daily routine.

Here are some often over-looked and easily cited areas. I would like to put a challenge out to you. Don’t just glance over the list thinking “Yeah…yeah…yeah.., I have all of that in place.” Walk over and look! Be sure the documentation is really there. Otherwise, you may find a deficiency on some of these easily avoidable citations.

  1. First aid cards: Be sure every care staff has a current card.
  2. Resident TB clearance: You have the Physician’s report—is the TB clearance section filled out?
  3. Complete first aid kit: Where are those tweezers? Rolled bandages? Current first aid manual, etc.?
  4. Proof of staff training: You bought the kits. You showed the DVDs. Do you have the documentation for every care staff?
  5. Complete Centrally Stored Medication Record (CCL, LIC 622): Pull three resident’s meds. Is every single OTC and prescribed med in central storage listed on that record?
  6. Food is covered, labeled, and dated. Get up. Walk to the refrigerators. Open each one. Everything is covered with an air tight seal? Nothing expired?

I know as experienced providers you know every one of these requirements. My personal experience has been that I have been confident of compliance, only to be unhappily surprised when self-auditing. These types of compliance issues can really add up on an LIC 809 (Facility Evaluation Report) from licensing if we do not continue self-monitoring, even when CCL is not making regular visits.

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