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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Long-Term Care Bill Approved

September 01, 2000|JENIFER RAGLAND

The California Legislature has passed a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) that would help seniors and disabled adults with long-term care options after a hospital stay.

Gov. Gray Davis has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the measure, which would create long-term care programs within local hospitals. Typically seniors have only three to six days from when they learn their hospital stay is over to when they must leave, and during that time they must decide whether to move into an assisted-living facility or remain at home.

Jackson's bill, if signed into law, would place specialists in hospitals to meet with patients and their families and help them make the best decision based on each person's needs and financial resources, said Janice Rocco a spokeswoman for Jackson's office.

Staff members would develop a long-term plan and refer the patient to local agencies, including home health care, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. They would then follow through with a community case manager to make sure the patient receives the necessary care.

The two-year pilot program, which the state's Department of Aging would oversee, would cost about $2 million to implement, Rocco said. The goal is to make the programs permanent if they are found to be successful.

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