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New Developments

  • 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)

  • An 87-Year-Old Nun Says She Was Raped in Her Nursing Home. Here’s Why She Couldn’t Sue. Time Magazine has published a story about an Alabama nursing home resident who was prohibited from suing after she was allegedly raped one night in the facility. A pre-dispute arbitration agreement signed by the resident forced her into arbitration, where nursing home residents typically fare poorly, and the arbitrator ruled against her. Under a proposal from the Trump administration, nursing homes will be able to force all residents into arbitration for resolving disputes, decreasing the chances of residents obtaining justice when victimized. Read More.
    (posted November 27, 2017)

  • Unintended Consequences – How Government Policies Led to “The Little Red Pill.”

    Last month’s story from CNN about mismarketing and inappropriate administration of Nuedexta (“the little red pill”) to nursing home residents is certainly not surprising to anyone who follows the systemic drugging of people with dementia. When CMS launched its campaign to reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotics in nursing homes in 2012, you did not need to be an oracle to figure that many nursing homes would simply shift their chemical restraint of choice from antipsychotics to some other sedating drug. Read More.
    (posted November 27, 2017)

  • Good News from the Capitol! SB 219 and AB 940 Signed Into Law.

    A couple of historic bills protecting residents of long term care facilities were signed into law last month. SB 219 (Wiener) is a first-of-its-kind bill of rights for LGBT residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly. It prohibits discrimination based on a resident’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status and requires facilities to honor residents’ preferences regarding room assignments, names, pronouns, and clothing. AB 940 (Weber) codifies the new federal regulation requiring nursing homes to send copies of resident discharge notices to the Ombudsman program and adds that any violation of the requirement is an automatic Class B citation. The bill should help reduce the growing number of unsafe and inappropriate nursing home discharges that are plaguing residents throughout the state.
    (posted November 9, 2017)

  • Fresno Nursing Home Sued for Dumping Resident on Sidewalk of Uninhabitable House

    A recently filed lawsuit alleges that Manning Gardens Care Center, a nursing home in Fresno, illegally dumped a 78-year-old resident at her former home, where she had been previously found soiled in vomit and feces, with cockroaches crawling on her and maggots in her wounds. The facility had made no arrangements to ensure the resident would have appropriate care at home, despite her unhealed wounds and extensive care needs.
    Click here to read the press release and click here to read the lawsuit.
    (posted November 2, 2017)

  • Consumer Alert: Treatment of Disaster Assistance for Medi-Cal Eligibility

    This alert is to inform those consumers who are on Medi-Cal -- either traditional Medi-Cal or MAGI, the adult Medicaid expansion program through the Affordable Care Act -- who were impacted by the recent fires or hurricanes, with information about Medi-Cal beneficiaries' rights regarding receipt of disaster assistance, as well as information on assistance available for those wishing to apply or recertify for Medi-Cal.
    Read more
    (posted October 24, 2017)

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