A new law amending the Health and Safety Code in California should help state regulators determine which applications to operate assisted living communities to approve and which to deny, according to one organization.

The group California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform supported A.B. 737, recently signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“This bill improves the information available to the Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) when deciding whether to approve or deny an application to operate a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE),” according to the organization said. “Often, CCLD cannot identify the individuals who want to own or operate an RCFE, whether they have operated other facilities, and their operational or regulatory compliance history.”

The law amends the code to clarify that entities and agents signing on behalf of entities, in addition to people, are responsible for providing certain information when seeking a license to operate a residential care facility for the elderly.

The law also adds language to the code that applicants, upon request, “shall provide … any additional information related to consideration of the application regarding any entity that is an applicant or holds a beneficial ownership interest of 10 percent or more.”

California Assisted Living Association President and CEO Sally Michael told McKnight’s Senior Living that CALA took a neutral stance on the bill.

It “made minor technical clarifications to the licensure application process,” she said. “Applications are currently thoroughly vetted including ownership disclosure and licensing history. Reorganization to the DSS branch responsible for applications has greatly strengthened the process and significantly improved turnaround times,” Michael added.

LeadingAge California did not take a position on the bill.