Release: Bill on Oversight of CA Recovery & Treatment Centers Approved by Policy Committee

April 11, 2018

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Health Committee passed Senate Bill 992, which brings more oversight for licensed substance use disorder treatment facilities and adds transparency to unlicensed recovery homes, by a vote of 9-0.

There have been numerous news stories in recent months about bad actors in the industry who take advantage of individuals needing substance use disorder treatment services by housing them in unlicensed sober living homes and requiring the individuals to receive outpatient services in facilities that have business relationships with the unlicensed homes. This has often led to improper care for those in need of treatment services.

Authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina), SB 992 does the following:

  • Revises outdated law related to client treatment in licensed residential treatment facilities (RTFs).
  • Provides the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) with more authority over RTF licensure.
  • Requires the disclosure of certain business relationships of RTFs and unlicensed sober living homes.
  • Creates a voluntary registration program for sober living homes.

“People with substance use disorders deserve access to comprehensive, quality care in the same way those with physical ailments have access,” said Senator Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee. “SB 992 strengthens regulatory authority over licensed facilities, and ensures that those who need care the most have access to proper treatment across the range of services necessary for healthy recovery.”

SB 992 seeks to give DHCS more authority to go after operators who skirt licensing laws and to ensure that individuals in licensed RTFs are protected while seeking recovery from their substance use disorders. SB 992 also is a first step to help the state understand how many sober living homes operate in the state by creating a voluntary registration program administered by DHCS.

“The Ca. Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives is pleased that SB 992 was approved by the Senate Health Committee because it helps improve service delivery and oversight for the substance use disorder field,” said Al Senella, President, CA Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives (CAADPE). “In addition, the new voluntary registry created by SB 992 is an important step that can help individuals identify recovery residences that adhere to good neighbor policies and promote drug-free housing. CAADPE thanks Senator Hernandez for his leadership to strengthen consumer protections and provider greater state oversight.”

The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.