FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2019
Contact Deborah Pacyna
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Court of Appeal, First
Appellate District has upheld the constitutionality of the so-called “Epple
Bill” which allows skilled nursing facilities to continue to serve individuals
who lack the capacity to make medical decisions and have no one willing or able
to make such decisions on their behalf.
In its decision, CANHR
v. Smith (formerly Chapman) the court overturned a 2015 decision by the
Alameda County Superior Court that declared the statute unconstitutional. Skilled nursing facilities have used Health
and Safety Code 1418.8 to make medical decisions for residents who lack mental
capacity or do not have family or other decision makers available since 1992.
“This ruling means an
interdisciplinary team of caregivers will continue to be able to formulate and
implement care plans for up to 12,000 individuals covered by the law,” said
Craig Cornett, CAHF CEO/President. “We are gratified that the court has brought
clarity to this important issue so our members can continue to insure the
well-being of these residents.”
An interdisciplinary team is comprised
of a physician, a registered nurse with responsibility for the resident and other
appropriate staff in disciplines based on resident need. The new ruling
includes the additional requirement of oral and written notice to the affected
residents, as well as the presence of independent resident representatives when
family members or friends are not available.
is committed to work with the California Department of Public Health, member
facilities and others stakeholders to meet the new conditions established by
Read the decision here.