Nursing Homes Residential Care
/ Assisted Living
CCRCs Medi-Cal for
Long Term Care
Elder Abuse
/ Financial Abuse
Find an
Elder Law
Home Equity Protection Program (HEPP)
funded by the State Bar of CA to prevent financial mortgage scams and more...


Reforming AB 1629
Reforming AB 1629: No More Blank Checks for California Nursing Home Chains
Maclay Healthcare Center in Sylmar Cited for Severe Neglect Which Led to Live Maggots in Resident's Mouth
Maclay Healthcare Center failed to provide mouth care to a resident who was totally dependent on staff for activities of daily living.
Violation of the Month Archive

New Developments

  • California Nursing Homes Near Worst in Nation in Nursing Home Complaints
    An October report by the federal HHS Office of Inspector General reveals that California nursing homes have one of the highest complaint rates in the nation. The report, Trends in Nursing Home Complaints (2016-2018), shows California nursing homes had the fifth highest rate of complaints in 2018, 80.9 complaints per 1,000 nursing home residents. Only Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Washington nursing homes had higher rates of complaints. Equally concerning, the data shows the number of complaints filed against California nursing homes increased greatly every year since 2011 and more than doubled since 2012, when California nursing homes averaged 40 complaints per 1,000 nursing home residents.
    (posted October 31, 2019)
  • An open letter to Governor Newsom & Attorney General Becerra Imploring an End to Nursing Home Resident Dumping
    Click here to read the full letter.
    (posted October 31, 2019)
  • CMS Adds Icon to Nursing Home Compare to Warn Public of Abuse
    On October 23, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added a new abuse icon to its Nursing Home Compare website. The icon’s purpose is to alert the public to nursing homes that have been cited for an abuse violation in the past year or over each of the past two years, depending on the level of harm. The abuse icon looks like this.

    Initially, 56 of California’s 1193 Medicare and/or Medi-Cal certified nursing facilities – about 5 percent – have the abuse icon. Although it is good that CMS is alerting the public about abuse findings at these facilities, consumers should be aware that nursing homes without an abuse icon might also have histories of abuse.
    (posted October 24, 2019)
  • Nursing Homes Not Only Industry Protected by the Department of Public Health
    A fascinating October 1, 2019 article by Capital & Main describes how the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) betrayed the public beyond those living in nursing homes (whom it routinely betrays). The article focuses on how it helped lobbyists defeat legislation that would protect the public from lead poisoning and questions CDPH’s commitment to protecting public health in California. More broadly, it reveals that siding with the very industries it is charged with regulating is standard operating procedure at CDPH.

    Who led this betrayal of public interests?
    Until June 2019, when Governor Newsom forced her to resign, CDPH was led by Karen Smith. Under her leadership, Smith not only coddled regulated industries, she “owned, at various times, anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to up to $1.5 million in stock of pesticide manufacturers, health care and long-term nursing companies, cellphone manufacturers and air-polluting oil producers.” In 2018, CANHR called for Smith to be replaced due to conflicts of interest and for deplorable policies and practices that harmed nursing home residents.

    On September 13, 2019, Governor Newsom appointed Sonia Angell of New York to replace Smith. CANHR hopes that Dr. Angell has been charged with reversing CDPH’s corrupt culture and transforming it into a consumer protection agency.

    click to read more (posted October 21, 2019)
  • Reforming AB 1629: No More Blank Checks for California Nursing Home Chains
    Next year, California’s controversial and extraordinarily expensive reimbursement system for skilled nursing facilities – known as AB 1629 – will sunset. Reauthorizing AB 1629 offers a rare chance to redesign the failed reimbursement system to serve residents’ interests.

    Instead of improved resident care, AB 1629 has produced billionaire owners, scandalous abuse and neglect, rampant discrimination against Medi-Cal beneficiaries and over a billion dollars per year in new General Fund costs while home and community-based services faced relentless cuts.

    It is time to start over and create a reimbursement system that does not rely on blind trust with California’s disreputable nursing home chains. CANHR has issued a report, “Bad Deal, Bad Care,” to explain the problems with AB 1629 and to list the reforms available to the state to ensure that nursing home reimbursement is finally tied to quality care and fits properly into a long term care system that maximizes consumer well-being.
    click to read our full report (posted October 11, 2019)
  • Bugs, Mold and Unwashed Hands: Rampant Safety Violations in Nursing Home Kitchens Endanger Residents
    A disturbing article published by FairWarning on October 3, 2019 describes rampant violations of food safety standards by nursing homes that are endangering residents throughout the nation. Among its revelations are that a third of all nursing homes were cited for food safety deficiencies in 2018 but the federal government almost never imposes penalties for these violations. The article also addresses the Trump Administration's proposed rollback of nursing home standards, which would gut the qualifications for nursing home directors of food and nutrition services.
    (posted October 03, 2019)
  • DHCS Confirms Nursing Facility Residents with Intermediate Care Needs Are Eligible for Medi-Cal Coverage
    On September 3, 2019, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) issued an alert clarifying that Medi-Cal coverage is available for residents who need “intermediate care,” not just for those who required “skilled” care. This confirmation became necessary because CenCal Health, a Medi-Cal health plan serving San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, has aggressively sought to deny Medi-Cal coverage to nursing facility residents on the basis of its assessments that they do not need “skilled” care. The DHCS alert helpfully confirms that nursing facility residents on Medi-Cal are allowed to remain while either intermediate or skilled care services are needed.
    CANHR is working with an advocacy coalition to seek broader solutions to increasing coverage denials that are caused by the combination of outdated Medi-Cal regulations on nursing facility coverage and perverse financial incentives for Medi-Cal health plans to cut costs by denying nursing facility care to their members who need it.
    click to read more
    (posted October 03, 2019)
  • New Medicare Payment System for Skilled Nursing Facilities Takes Effect
    On October 1, 2019, Medicare is implementing a new payment system for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) that is called the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM). How “patient driven” the complicated payment system is (or is not) remains to be seen. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) claims it will change the financial incentives for SNFs to better serve residents.
    Advocates expect that many skilled nursing facilities will aggressively game the new system to serve their financial interests rather than residents’ needs. A particular concern is that Medicare beneficiaries will receive less therapy than they do now and that SNFs have an incentive to replace individual therapy services with less effective but cheaper group therapy services. Another concern is that skilled nursing facilities will cut off Medicare coverage and push out Medicare beneficiaries even faster than they do now. CANHR is interested in hearing from Medicare beneficiaries on their experiences with nursing home coverage under PDPM. click to read more
    (posted October 03, 2019)
  • Drug Company to Pay $116 Million for Kickback Conspiracy to Push Nuedexta on Nursing Home Residents with Dementia
    On September 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Avanir, a drug company based in California, had agreed to pay $116 million in criminal and civil penalties to resolve charges that it paid kickbacks and engaged in other illegal activities to market Nuedexta as a treatment for elders with dementia. The settlement resolves multiple whistleblower cases concerning the widespread use of Nuedexta to chemically restrain nursing home residents with dementia, which CNN first brought to public attention in its October 2017 story, The little red pill being pushed on the elderly. Nuedexta is only approved to treat a rare neurological condition, pseudobulbar affect, that is characterized by uncontrollable laughing and crying. However, the government alleged that Avanir successfully capitalized on national efforts to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs on dementia patients in nursing homes by aggressively marketing Nuedexta as a substitute method of controlling residents’ behaviors that would go unnoticed by regulators. According to the DOJ’s press release, the scheme worked so well that one doctor (a paid speaker for Nuedexta) had put entire units of residents on Nuedexta at a nursing home where he worked. The settlement may not be strong enough to deter future misconduct by other drug companies. CNN’s story on the Avanir settlement reports that Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program spent roughly $225 million on Nuedexta in 2017, up more than 700% from five years earlier. click to read more
    (posted October 03, 2019)
  • House Passes FAIR Act to Ban Forced Arbitration
    On September 20, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FAIR Act (Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal), a groundbreaking bill that would restore the rights of millions of Americans to sue businesses, including nursing homes, that violate their rights. By prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration agreements that force arbitration, the bill would give back the right to go to court to victims who have signed arbitration agreements, often unknowingly. Its passage, by a vote of 225-186, is a historic milestone, however, the bill must be passed by the Senate and signed by the President before it becomes law. While the fight to restore basic legal rights for American citizens is not over, the House vote is a great step forward!
    (posted September 20, 2019)
  • State Investigation Finds Several Laguna Honda Residents Nearly Drugged to Death
    When San Francisco City and County officials held a press conference on June 28, 2019 to address an abuse scandal at Laguna Honda, they described acts of its employees as horrific. They reported that a group of six employees abused 23 residents over a period of years, subjecting them to verbal and physical abuse, sexual harassment, drugging, humiliation and neglect. But they gave few details while assuring the public that residents were now safe.
    The extreme nature of the abuse is now coming to light. Read More...
    (posted September 20, 2019)
  • Medicaid’s Dark Secret
    For many participants, the program that provides health care to millions of low-income Americans isn’t free. It’s a loan. And the government expects to be repaid.
    Read the full article from The Atlantic...
    (posted September 11, 2019)
  • Help Stop Trump Administration Rollback of Nursing Home Standards
    Please join CANHR in urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw this terrible proposal.
    (posted September 10, 2019)
  • Medi-Cal Discrimination In Nursing Homes – Getting In Is Half the Battle
    Over the past 5 years, one of the most disturbing violations of state and federal laws has been the increase in discrimination against Medi-Cal beneficiaries who need nursing home care. Call a nursing home and tell them that your mother, a Medi-Cal beneficiary, has dementia along with other medical issues and that her doctor has recommended a nursing home– good luck in finding a placement within 200 miles - or at all! Tell them that your mother is in the hospital on Medicare, and your chance of finding a nursing home placement increases 100%.
    (posted September 1, 2019)
  • State Raises Income Limit for Medi-Cal Aged & Disabled Program
    Beginning January 1, 2020, California will increase the income limit for Medi-Cal's Aged and Disabled Program to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). This is equal to $1,437 per month in 2019, and will increase in 2020. This change represents a huge gain for over 25,000 seniors and persons with disabilities in California on Medi-Cal, who will no longer need to spend their fixed income on health insurance or Share of Cost.
    (posted July 30, 2019)
  • New OIG Reports Describe Troubling Problems with Hospice Care and Oversight
    In July 2019, the HHS Office of Inspector General issued two new reports on hospice care and oversight that present new evidence that a growing number of hospices should be avoided due to a history of poor care.
    (posted July 29, 2019)
  • CMS Issues Proposed Regulations to Rollback Nursing Home Requirements
    Aiming to “reduce the regulatory burden on providers,” the Trump administration issued proposed regulations on July 18, 2019 that would rollback important protections for nursing home residents.
    (posted July 29, 2019)
  • Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
    On July 23, 2019, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to address new reports that nursing home residents are increasingly at risk of abuse. Representatives of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and HSS Office of Inspector General testified on findings of their recent investigations on abuse.
    (posted July 29, 2019)
  • CANHR v. Smith - At Long Last, Constitutional Rights for “Unrepresented” Patients
    In a groundbreaking decision, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled that “unrepresented” patients in the health care system have constitutionally protected privacy rights that require significant due process protections before treatment decisions may be imposed without their consent.
    (posted July 26, 2019)
  • Court Declares Nursing Home Residents Have Right to Sue States (Like California) With “Meaningless” Eviction Appeals
    On July 18, 2019, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with CANHR and three nursing home residents who sued California for ignoring its own administrative orders. The residents were all dumped by their nursing homes into hospitals and illegally refused readmission. Each of the residents successfully appealed the eviction and received a State order for readmission. None of the residents were actually readmitted though as the offending nursing homes ignored the order and the State did nothing to enforce it.
    (posted July 19, 2019)

  • 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.

CANHR’s Past Outreach Activities