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New Developments

  • Care Suffers as More Nursing Homes Feed Money Into Corporate Webs.January 2, 2018 New York Times article produced with Kaiser Health News examines how nursing home chains reap profits by contracting with companies they own or control. Nursing home owners are using this method – which accounted for $11 billion in spending in 2015 – to siphon off funds intended for care and staffing.  While the quality of care suffers under these arrangements, operator profits soar in a way that does not show up on their nursing home accounts. The article reports that the California state auditor is examining related party transactions by Brius Healthcare Services, a nursing home chain owned by Shlomo Rechnitz. 
    (posted January 5, 2018)

  • New CANHR Issue Brief: Don't Believe the Hype. While nursing home regulators pat their backs for reduced antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes and turn their backs on continued misuse, one-in-five nursing residents still receive powerful antipsychotic drugs and many more are given other drugs to chemically restrain them.  The numbers touted by the government are misleading and hide the epidemic that continues in nursing homes.
    Learn the real story in the new Issue Brief.
    (posted January 3, 2018)

  • Trump Administration Scaling Back Nursing Home Fines and Requirements. On December 24, 2017, the New York Times reported that the Trump Administration has scaled back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury. The Times article, Trump Administration Eases Nursing Home Fines in Victory for Industry, described the reduced use of fines as part of a broader relaxation of regulations under the president at the behest of the nursing home industry. Read more.
    (posted January 3, 2018)

  • Infection Lapses Are Rampant in Nursing Homes but Punishment is Rare. So says a Los Angeles Times and Kaiser Health News headline for an article published on December 21, 2017. The article reports that 74 percent of the nation’s nursing homes have been cited for infection control violations during the last four years. In California, nearly 90 percent of nursing homes have been cited. Read more.
    (posted January 3, 2018)

  • CMS Agrees: Something Stinks About Nursing Home Discharges. Following more national news stories (from Forbes and the Washington Post) about illegal and inappropriate nursing home discharges, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a Survey and Certification memo announcing an initiative to address them. The new initiative is focused on "encouraging states to pursue" projects to reduce illegal discharges and requiring state survey agencies to transfer discharge cases to the federal regional office for review. While the success of an initiative that commits to no enhanced enforcement is doubtful, the CMS memo is nonetheless important because it acknowledges that discharges: (1) are very often problematic and can lead to devastating outcomes for residents; (2) are commonly "driven by payment concerns" instead of the welfare of the residents; (3) based on an inability to meet the needs of residents “should be rare" since facilities are required to thoroughly assess their capacity to care for all residents when they are admitted.
    (posted January 3, 2018)

  • CMS Delays Enforcement of New Federal Nursing Home Requirements. On November 24, 2017 – just four days before certain new federal nursing home requirements took effect – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) imposed an 18-month moratorium on enforcing almost all of the new requirements. This capitulation to nursing home industry demands will prevent state inspection agencies from issuing civil money penalties and most other sanctions to nursing homes that violate the new requirements. This troubling development took place while California and other states began implementing CMS’s modified nursing home inspection system; advocates fought additional rollbacks CMS is considering; and CMS froze the health inspection star ratings on its Nursing Home Compare website. To learn more on these developments, read the Consumer Voice’s November 28, 2017 article, Major Changes in Nursing Home Regulatory Arena Go Into Effect Today.
    (posted December 1, 2017)

  • Scandal-Ridden Brius to Pay up to $6.9 Million for Illegal Kickback Scheme. On November 16, 2017, The U.S. Department of Justice announced that four Brius-owned nursing homes in the San Diego area will pay up to $6.9 million dollars to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit involving illegal kickbacks for patient referrals and false claims to government health care programs. Brius is a nursing home chain owned by Shlomo Rechnitz. Read More.
    (posted December 1, 2017)
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