Are you aware of the new legislation in the State of Oregon regarding senior living referrals?

To help Oregon senior living communities in our referral network understand the new regulations, avoid paying duplicate referral fees, and prevent any misunderstandings about consumer protections and/or referral compensation, we’ve put together this primer we hope you find useful.

HB 2661 is effective July 1, 2018, and includes the following provisions:

  • REGISTRY — Professionals or organizations making senior living referrals to consumers in Oregon must be licensed and register with the State of Oregon as a long-term care referral agent. According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, this is the nation’s first referral agent registry, and Caring.com is among those who will register once the state has established the registration process.
  • DISCLOSURES — Referral agents must provide an oral and written disclosure statement to seniors and/or their family members (“consumers”) that communicates the agent is paid referral fees by senior living communities, among other required disclosures. Here’s an example referral compensation disclosure that we’ve had on our website for years, and we’ll be using additional disclosures in our phone and email communications with those consumers who seek our assistance.
  • MANDATED REPORTERS FOR ELDER ABUSE — Referral agents (including Caring.com) are now required by law to report referral client mentions of alleged elder abuse at senior living communities in Oregon to the Department of Human Services.
  • CHANGE OF REFERRAL REPRESENTATION — Consumers may opt out of additional help from a referral agent (including Caring.com) after a referral. This ‘opt out’ must be provided via written notification by the consumer directly to the referral agent.
    • REFERRAL COMPENSATION — The new law does not exempt Caring.com’s senior living community partners from paying referral fees on move-ins that result from the referrals we’ve made of a consumer, unless certain rare conditions are met. Specifically, in order for move-in compensation to be voided: The consumer must have previously notified Caring.com in writing directly that they no longer wish to work with us in the future, must have already previously moved in to one of the senior living communities in the Caring referral (with Caring.com having received referral compensation for that move-in), and the consumer must now be involved in a “subsequent” (2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.) move to a senior living community originally provided to the consumer in a Caring referral. If those conditions are met, then the law exempts the senior living community from having to pay the original referral agent their referral fees.

    From the bill: “If a client is referred to a facility and the referral agent has received compensation from the facility for the referral, the client may notify the referral agent in writing that the client wishes to use the services of another referral agent in the future for referral to another facility in a subsequent move. After receiving notice under this subsection, the first referral agent may not receive compensation from another facility in a subsequent move for any referral made before receiving the notice.”

    Also from the bill: “A facility is a subsequent facility if: (A) The subject of placement enters a facility to which the subject of placement is referred by a first referral agent, but subsequently leaves that facility; and (B) A new referral agent refers the subject of placement to the subsequent facility.”

    Referral agents or agencies operating in the State of Oregon were made aware of the provisions of the law, including via a presentation from Mike McCormick, Deputy Director of Aging and People with Disabilities, Department of Human Services at the Oregon Senior Referral Agency Association in May 2018. It’s thus expected that referral agents operating in Oregon and registered with the state will understand and abide the regulation.

    Should a senior living community in our referral network receive notice from another referral agent (whether an online referral source or offline/local agent) who states that their (consumer) client no longer wishes to work with Caring.com and has formally notified Caring.com in writing of the retraction of assistance: Please immediately inform us of any instances like this in writing via message to verify@caring.com.

    In your message, please include the contact name and organization of the person who notified you, the resident’s name, and the notifier’s contact email and phone. You can do the same if you receive such notification from the consumer. We’ll then verify for you whether or not the conditions have been met to exempt your community from paying Caring any move-in referral fees that may be due on the referral. Failure to do so may result in an obligation to pay multiple referral agencies for the same move-in.

    In every state: Caring’s senior living referral partners are encouraged to use Partner Portal every month to report move-ins and avoid duplicate referral fees.

    Have questions or need assistance with your referral account? Please contact clientservices@caring.com or (866) 824-9209 ext. 2.

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