For Immediate Release: July 27, 2022
COUNCILMEMBER NITHYA RAMAN INTRODUCES RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF RAISING STATE-SET REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR BOARD AND CARE HOMES
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a resolution in support of raising the State-set reimbursement rate for Adult Residential Facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly. Informally known as “board and care” homes, these facilities serve as a vital resource for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals with mental illness, addressing both service and housing needs.
“Board and care homes play a crucial role in helping individuals who need long term, intensive care, providing housing and services for those who need daily assistance,” said Councilmember Raman. “Last year alone, the City saw a loss of 369 of these beds – at a time when these critical beds are already in such short supply, we need to ensure these facilities are able to keep their doors open and continue serving Angelenos.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health estimates that at least 10% of the unsheltered homeless population suffers from complex mental health illnesses and another 10% requires help with activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, dressing, or managing medications. These two groups, totalling over 5,700 people in the City of Los Angeles, would be well-served by placements in board and care homes if such placements were readily available.
The City currently has a total of 180 board and care facilities with 6,717 beds, providing critical support for individuals who need long-term, intensive care, and because of the nature of this care there is limited turnover of beds. Though the State plans to increase the reimbursement rate for low-income residents of board and care homes by 2% on January 1, 2023, and 23% on January 1, 2024, these increases are drastically insufficient and far too late to meet the actual costs of care and will do little to prevent many facilities from being forced to shutter.
“Board and care homes are another piece of the puzzle in solving the City’s homeless crisis,” emphasized Councilmember Raman. “Not only do we need to preserve those in existence, we need to provide enough of a financial reimbursement to incentivize the opening of additional facilities to help meet the critical care and housing needs of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in LA.”
Councilmember Raman’s resolution would require the City of Los Angeles to include in its 2022-2023 State Legislative Program support for or sponsorship of legislation or administrative action to enact changes to the California Health and Safety Code that will increase the daily reimbursement rate for board and care home residents who receive SSI, SSP, or Medi-Cal such that these reimbursements cover the actual costs of residents’ care.