CHA News Article

Providers Reminded That Family Councils Must be Allowed
Applies to skilled-nursing and intermediate care facilities

The California Department of Public Health has released the attached All Facilities Letter 18-04, reminding skilled-nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities that they may not prohibit residents’ family members or representatives from forming a family council. The department defines “family council” as a meeting of family members, friends, or representatives of two or more residents to confer in private without staff. Facilities must not willfully interfere with the formation, maintenance or promotion of a family council, such as by discriminating or retaliating against an individual due to participation in a family council or willfully scheduling facility events in conflict with a previously scheduled family council meeting.

When a family council exists, the facility must include notice of the family council meetings in at least a quarterly mailing, and must inform identified family members or representatives of new residents of the family council’s existence. The notice must include the time, place, and date of meetings, and a contact person for the family council.