Summary of Ballot Measure Benefits
The ballot measure is an ordinance that would amend the San Francisco Planning Code to designate the site of Laguna Honda Hospital as a new special use district. The only new facilities and programs permitted in the district would be: (1) facilities licensed by the State of California to provide long-term skilled nursing care, (2) medical specialty programs serving elderly, frail, and physically disabled people, and (3) assisted living facilities for elderly, frail, and physically disabled people.
The ordinance states that its purposes are to protect and enhance Laguna Hondas continued ability to provide adequate levels of quality long-term skilled nursing care, and Laguna Hondas current medical specialty programs for dementia, hospice, AIDS, physical rehabilitation, and respite care to elderly, frail, and physically disabled San Franciscans, and to ensure the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of the voters in approving 1999 Proposition A (the Laguna Honda rebuild bond replacement project measure).
The ordinance would provide the following important new local requirements for admissions to Laguna Honda:
1) People who pose a danger to themselves or others, or a threat to the maintenance of a safe environment, would not be admitted or retained;
2) Only people whose need for skilled nursing care is based on a medical diagnosis that is not primarily psychiatric or behavioral would be admitted;
3) As long as there are qualified San Francisco residents waiting for long-term (i.e., six months or longer) skilled nursing beds, people who need short-term services would not be admitted, except to medical specialty programs serving elderly, frail, and physically disabled people; and
4) San Francisco residents would be admitted before non-residents.
These requirements are designed to enhance safety at Laguna Honda, strengthen Laguna Honda's focus on caring for people with medical problems (while recognizing the need to care for people whose main problems are medical but who also have psychological problems, if this can be done without jeopardizing safety), preserve long-term skilled nursing beds, and ensure priority for San Franciscans. At the same time, they will preserve Laguna Hondas ability to provide short-term medical specialty programs for elderly, frail, and physically disabled people, such as dementia, hospice, AIDS, physical rehabilitation, and respite care, and other similar programs that may be developed in the future.
The ordinance also includes technical amendments to the Planning Code to effectuate the new provisions.