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EVENTS


Laguna Honda Residents Can Stay at Laguna Honda

The April 14, 2022 termination of Laguna Honda’s Medicare and Medicaid certification has left its nearly 700 residents worried about their futures. However, Laguna Honda remains licensed, has announced it is not closing, continues to receive federal funding temporarily, and is applying to be recertified by Medicare and Medi-Cal. For now, Laguna Honda residents have the right to remain at the facility because there is no basis for transferring or discharging them. Importantly, residents have strong appeal rights and should exercise them if needed.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

CANHR Zoom Town Hall:
Upcoming Changes to Medi-Cal

Thank you to our co hosts, the Center for Health Care Rights (CHCR) and Disability Rights California (DRC), and thank you to the representatives from from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

During the past two years, residents of long-term care facilities and their family members faced the unimaginable. COVID-19 took the lives of over 13,000 nursing home and assisted living facility residents and staff in California and turned bad facilities into some of the most dangerous places in the state. Unable to visit residents, family members watched their loved ones deteriorate from isolation, lack of adequate staff and lack of adequate care. Throughout this terrible year, CANHR remained open and worked tirelessly to assist the thousands of residents, family members, social workers, and ombudsmen, law enforcement and state legislators who called our hotline or emailed their concerns.

Please read our complete letter HERE and stories of our consumer advocacy during the pandemic HERE. Join our struggle. Please donate generously. With your donation, we can continue our advocacy for all long term care residents.

WE HAVE MOVED

CANHR has moved to our new location in Berkeley. If you have difficulty reaching our Consumer phone number at 1-800-474-1116, please try 1-415-974-5171. There has been no disruption to our online services, so you can always reach us via canhrmail@canhr.org, or our online feedback/contact form HERE. Our new mailing address is: CANHR, 1803 6th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

CANHR's COVID-19 Coronavirus
News & Resources 

In an effort to keep you all better informed, we have created a website, https://canhrnews.com/ specifically for COVID-19 information, news and resources related to Long Term Care. For the duration of this crisis, we are posting frequent updates there.

 

Home Equity Protection Program (HEPP)
funded by the State Bar of CA to prevent financial mortgage scams and more... Please read our FREE BOOKLET of Reverse Mortgage information.

 

#VisitationSavesLives

Join our campaign to restore reasonable visitation to residents in long term care facilities.

New Developments

  • LAist Reports on Medical Parole Patients Shipped to Decertified Nursing Home
    A recent story from LAist is reporting how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has consolidated nearly every one of its medical parole patients into Golden Legacy, a Sylmar nursing home with a very troubled history of bad care. Medical parole patients are incarcerated individuals who are moved from prison, often into nursing homes, because they are "medically incapacitated" and need assistance with activities of daily living that would qualify them for placement in a health care facility. For years, medical parole patients have lived in nursing homes throughout the state.

    Recently, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has found that the conditions imposed on medical parole patients (such as physical restraints and limitations on privacy) are at odds with the rights of nursing home residents. All nursing home residents, including justice-involved residents, have the full array of federal resident rights to protect them. As a result of the CMS crackdown on rights violations, CDCR has sent its medical parole patients to Golden Legacy, which has been stripped of its federal certification due to a number of serious problems and a long history of regulatory noncompliance. The medical parole patients have been dumped into a potentially dangerous facility where the care is reportedly often poor and neglectful and residents are perceived to have fewer protective rights

    Hopefully, CDCR, CMS, and the state Department of Public Health will find a way to restore the medical parole program so residents can be placed in better facilities while balancing residents' rights with public safety concerns.

    click to read more
    (posted May 11, 2022)
  • National Academy of Science Calls for Bold Reform of Nursing Home Care
    On April 6, 2022, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes released a 605 page report – The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality; Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families and Staff – that is meant to be a blueprint for desperately needed reform of nursing home care. The Committee, which began its work in the fall of 2020, considered the daily travesties occurring in nursing homes during the pandemic and the decades of dangerously poor care and staffing that preceded it. Declaring that “as a nation we have made promises for better care in nursing homes, and those promises have not been kept,” it calls for “moral courage” to implement a wide-ranging set of recommendations.

    The report concludes that “the way the United States finances, delivers, and regulates care in nursing home settings is ineffective, inefficient, fragmented and unsustainable.” It seeks immediate action to initiate fundamental change.

    Many of its recommendations are very similar to President Biden’s nursing home reform agenda released on February 28. The Committee recommends studying and setting minimum federal staffing standards, requiring 24-hour RN coverage 7 days a week, and mandating full-time social workers with a minimum of bachelor’s degrees in social work. Multiple recommendations address empowering, training and supporting CNAs, along with ensuring that they and other nursing home workers receive competitive wages and benefits. It seeks incentives to provide smaller, more home-like environments and to ensure nursing homes are better prepared to respond to emergencies and natural disasters. There are detailed sets of recommendations on improving oversight, enforcement, and transparency of ownership and financing. And many more.

    The New York Times published a thought-provoking interview with Betty Ferrell, a palliative care expert in California who chaired the Committee for the National Academies. Dr. Ferrell told the Times the nation cannot look away any longer on what is going on in nursing homes, while expressing outrage that the nursing home industry is able to profit in such a significant way without providing quality care. Encouragingly, she spoke in favor of reforms to prevent owners with poor track records from acquiring more nursing homes and to ensure funding to nursing homes is going toward the care of residents. California legislators are currently considering bills to establish such reforms through CANHR-sponsored AB 1502 on ownership reform (Muratsuchi and Wood) and CANHR-supported AB 2079 on direct care spending (Wood).

    Read the April 14, 2022 New York Times interview: Nursing Homes Are in Crisis. We Can’t Look Away Any Longer.

    click to read more
    (posted April 19, 2022)
  • CMS Terminates Laguna Honda’s Medicare and Medi-Cal Certification
    On April 14, 2022, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) terminated Laguna Honda’s participation in the Medicare and Medi-Cal programs due to continued violations of federal standards. Nonetheless, the city reported it will keep Laguna Honda open and continue serving the more than 700 residents who live there while it reapplies and seeks to restore its Medicare and Medi-Cal certification. These programs fund more than two-thirds of Laguna Honda’s services. CMS officials advised Laguna Honda that due to the exceedingly large number of residents and unique needs of the population, it is using its discretion to provide transition funding if the facility complies with federal closure requirements. Politicians vowed to prevent Laguna Honda’s closure, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called on city, state and national officials to work together to protect its life-saving programs for some of the most vulnerable San Franciscans.
    Read April 14, 2022 San Francisco Chronicle article: S.F’s Laguna Honda Hospital has 30 days to avoid a shutdown after feds freeze funding
    (posted April 19, 2022)
  • State Auditor Blasts California Department of Public Health for Enabling Large-Scale Hospice Fraud, Abuse and Neglect
    A scathing March 29, 2022 report by Michael Tilden, Acting California State Auditor, charged that the California Department of Public Health “essentially enabled hospice agency operators who are possibly fraudulent to continue functioning, putting patients at serious risk of not receiving appropriate care.”

    The long-awaited report opens with a letter to the governor and legislative leaders that states: “Indicators strongly suggest that a network or networks of individual perpetrators in Los Angeles County are engaging in a large and organized effort to defraud the Medicare and Medi-Cal hospice programs. Such fraud places at risk the extremely vulnerable population of hospice patients.”
    CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE
    (posted April 8, 2022)
  • Consumer Voice Finds Badly Deteriorating Resident Outcomes During Pandemic
    A new report from the National Consumer Voice for Long Term Care has found severe declines in the quality of care in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Using publicly available, self-reported nursing home data, Consumer Voice found alarming increases in the percentage of residents with pressure sores, significant weight loss, and feelings of depression and hopelessness. The percentage of residents receiving antipsychotic drugs increased to their highest levels in nearly a decade, many of which may have been “justified” by phony schizophrenia diagnoses, which also suspiciously rose during the pandemic.

    Consumer Voice concluded these deteriorating conditions in nursing homes were caused by the one-two punch of staffing shortages and the abrupt suspension of support and oversight in March, 2020 when family visitation was shut down and regular government inspections and Ombudsman visits were stopped. The combination of inadequate staffing and termination of outside support and oversight proved dangerous and deadly. The report ends on a hopeful note, citing the recent commitment from the Biden administration to a national minimum staffing standard which will likely come with more investment in training and wages for frontline staff.

    click to read more
    (posted March 21, 2022)
  • California Nursing Home Industry Seeks to Cash-In on Pandemic Tragedies
    Raising the wages of nursing home caregivers is smart.Trusting nursing homes with even more hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is dumb.
    On March 2, 2022, the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) – a trade group representing nursing home operators – announced a legislative proposal for California to fund a living wage for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Named “The Drive to $25,” the proposal would establish a CNA minimum wage that would grow to $25 in the next three years. The proposal calls for Medi-Cal to pay for two thirds of this wage increase via wage pass-throughs at an annual cost to Medi-Cal of about a half-billion dollars. READ OUR COMPLETE STATEMENT HERE
    (posted March 8, 2022)
  • White House Announces Reform Plan to Crack Down on Nursing Home Bad Actors
    On February 28, 2022, the White House announced plans for far-reaching reforms to improve the safety and quality of nursing home care, establish and enforce a federal minimum staffing requirement, fight inappropriate drugging of residents, strengthen emergency preparedness standards, integrate pandemic lessons into requirements, hold poor performing nursing homes and chains accountable, and improve public information on nursing home ownership and quality.

    The bold statement took direct aim at the nursing home industry, acknowledging widespread failures by nursing homes to comply with federal standards and the need “to crack down on bad actors.” Decisive action is needed now, it states, or unacceptable conditions may get worse.

    CANHR applauds the Biden Administration for standing up so strongly for nursing home residents and is excited to work with it to make a real difference in residents’ lives.

    click to read more
    (posted March 1, 2022)
  • Looking for something no longer here? View our "New Developments" archives

Need a Speaker?

If you would like to invite CANHR to a support group meeting, resource fair, or other event in your community, please complete a speaker request form online.
Note: Due to limited number of staff, CANHR may not be able to accommodate all requests outside of the Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles Area.