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CANHR "New Developments" Archive

05/11/2022 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.

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04/19/2022 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.

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04/19/2022 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
04/08/2022 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.”
03/21/2022 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.

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03/08/2022 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
03/01/2022 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.

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02/01/2022 Biggest Nursing Home Bill in a Generation Heads to the State Senate
CANHR-sponsored Assembly Bill 1502 (Muratsuchi and Wood) was passed by the state Assembly on January 31 and is headed to the state Senate!  AB 1502 will end the longstanding problem of zombie nursing home licenses, where nursing homes are operated by unsuitable, unapproved, and unaccountable persons and entities while the actual licensee is long gone from the scene.  The bill is opposed by the nursing home industry and is sure to face a battle in the Senate.  Be ready for alerts about how you can help support the most important nursing home reform bill in decades.
02/01/2022 Omicron Leads to Visitation Lockouts Throughout the State
On December 31, the Department of Public Health issued an order requiring all nursing home and assisted living facility visitors to provide proof of a negative COVID test before visiting with their loved ones.  Due to the difficulty in finding tests, the new rule has led to widespread lockouts in many facilities, casting residents into the depressing isolation.  Shortly thereafter, the State permitted COVID-positive long term care facility staff to continue to come to work, creating a ridiculous situation where COVID-positive staff are providing care to residents while vaccinated and boosted visitors who do not have COVID are locked out.

Compounding the State’s missteps, a lack of enforcement regarding visitation has led to facilities across the state illegally shutting down all visitation, leaving residents and visitors scratching their heads.  Long term care facilities are not allowed to shut down visitation at their discretion.  If your facility has shut down all visitation, immediately file a complaint with the Department of Public Health (for nursing homes) or the Department of Social Services (for assisted living - email complaint to

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02/01/2022 The Progressive Magazine Features Long Term Care Facility Evictions
A cover story from The Progressive Magazine, entitled “I Want to Go Home,” tells the heartbreaking story of the illegal eviction of Elaine Benz, a 97 year-old assisted living resident in Wisconsin.  Elaine lived at an assisted living facility called The Regency New Berlin for ten years before she was unceremoniously booted in October 2021 following a fall and transfer to a hospital.  While Elaine was in a nursing home rehabilitating from her injury, The Regency refused to allow her to come home, a classic “resident dumping” eviction that is prevalent throughout the country. 

The article traces the extent of illegal evictions and the financial incentives and lack of regulatory enforcement that enable them.  While several media stories have examined the problems of illegal long term care facility evictions, this particular article explains how disorienting and disruptive they can be, not only on the resident, but their entire family as well.  As long as long term care providers are free to disregard the rules protecting residents from inappropriate evictions, they will continue to do so.

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02/01/2022 Cal Long Term Care Compare Website Re-Launched
On January 27, 2022, the Cal Long Term Care Compare website was re-launched to provide nursing home consumers with information about finding a nursing home and data with which to compare facilities.  While websites and rating systems can be helpful, CANHR cautions consumers from relying on them exclusively.  See our fact sheet on How to Choose a Nursing Home for more information.
01/25/2022 How Poor Californians Languish in Nursing Homes
An eye-opening CalMatters’ article published on January 20th reports that thousands of Californians are languishing in nursing homes despite their desires and abilities to return to the community and their civil right to do so. The article – No way out: How the poor get stranded in California nursing homes – points fingers at both nursing homes and the California Department of Public Health for ignoring the civil rights of residents who wish to move back to community settings.
12/30/2021 DPH Orders Nursing Home Staff to Receive COVID Boosters
On December 22, 2021, CDPH Director Tomas Aragón issued public health orders, one that includes nursing homes, and another that includes assisted living facilities, requiring all care staff persons that have received COVID-19 vaccines to also receive boosters by February 1, 2022. The order states that once six months have elapsed since a staff person was vaccinated, they have 15 days to receive a booster dose.
12/20/2021 The case of the vanishing fine: How a massive nursing home penalty eluded consumer detection
On December 15, 2021, CalMatters published an article with the above-title about a nearly million dollar fine imposed against a Fresno nursing home, Northpointe Healthcare Centre, that was largely hidden from the public for years. Northpointe is a skilled nursing facility affiliated with Shlomo Rechnitz, who has owned the facility for over seven years without a license to operate it. The federal government cited Northpointe in 2018 after inspectors found violations presenting "immediate jeopardy" to residents that are described in a 131-page inspection report. Notwithstanding the huge fine, which CalMatters reports is the largest penalty given to any California nursing home in at least a decade, information on it had been excluded from the CMS Care Compare website until this month. CalMatters reports that over two-thirds of the federal fines totaling $100,000 or more against California nursing homes since 2018 had not been not discoverable on Care Compare.
12/14/2021 Only 21% of CA Nursing Homes Comply with Staff Vaccination Mandate
Despite a statewide mandate that requires nursing home staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by September 30, 2021, 861 nursing homes still have vaccination rates below 100%, with another 68 nursing homes failing to report their staff vaccination rates altogether.  Only 250 (21%) of the 1,179 nursing homes reporting to CMS (as of November 28, 2021 per CMS) reported full compliance with the mandate.  One-hundred and seventy-one nursing homes have less than 90% of their staff vaccinated, two months after the deadline for compliance.

California’s pervasive non-compliance with the nursing home staff vaccination mandates is particularly worrisome after a recent New England Journal of Medicine study was published showing a relationship between staff vaccination rates and the transmission of COVID-19 and deaths among nursing home residents.  The study found that COVID-19 death rates in nursing homes with lower staff vaccination were 195% higher than predicted outcomes if the facilities had had higher vaccination rates.

It is unknown whether the California Department of Health (CDPH) has taken any steps to enforce the statewide mandate.  CDPH’s counterpart in Connecticut has issued over $19 million in fines against long term care facilities that failed to certify compliance with a similar state mandate for staff vaccinations.

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12/10/2021 New York Times Reports Worst Nursing Home Offenses are Hidden From the Public
Those looking for reason to have faith in government oversight of nursing homes won’t find it in the New York Times December 9, 2021 article on how the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) hides severe violations from the public. The article reports CMS omitted over 2,700 dangerous incidents cited by state inspectors on its Care Compare website and did not factor them into its rating system that the public uses to help select nursing homes. Violations such as sexual assaults and exposing residents to COVID-19 are being quashed during a secretive, one-sided appeals process for nursing home operators. The article is the third in a recent series of articles by the New York Times describing serious problems with the CMS rating system for nursing homes. Earlier stories reported that much of the data that powers the system is wrong and that the rating system also obscures how many residents are receiving powerful antipsychotic drugs
12/10/2021 Center for Medicare Advocacy Report Asks Why Unfit Nursing Homes Are Allowed to Expand Operations
A December 6, 2021 special report by the Center for Medicare Advocacy addresses the disturbing trend of poor-quality providers expanding the numbers of nursing homes they own and operate. The report – Why Do Nursing Home Operators Who Provide Poor Quality Care Control Increasing Numbers of Facilities? – cites several reasons for this trend: complex ownership structures; hidden ownership interest; state tolerance of unscrupulous operators; political influence of wealthy owners; and nursing home owners becoming too big to fail.

The report concludes that who owns or operates a nursing facility largely determines whether the facility will provide good care to its residents. This core truth is the reason CANHR is sponsoring AB 1502 (Muratsuchi), the Skilled Nursing Facility Ownership and Management Reform Act of 2022.
12/10/2021 CalMatters Investigation Finds California Nursing Homes Have Filed Hundreds of Lawsuits Against the State Seeking to Overturn Citations
A December 6, 2021 article by CalMatters reports that California nursing homes have filed more than 400 lawsuits since 2016 to appeal state citations and fines for neglect and abuse. The article – From maggots to sex abuse, nursing homes sue California to overturn citations, fines
states that regulators downgraded nearly a third of sanctions involving a death in these appeals. Another key finding is that California has issued more than 3,000 nursing home citations since 2016, and reduced sanctions in more than 600 of those cases. Additionally, it reports that about 25 percent of the roughly $23.3 million in fines California has levied on skilled nursing facilities since 2016 remains unpaid.

What the article does not say is that taxpayers help subsidize nursing home legal costs to fight citations for abusing and neglecting residents in some cases. California’s Medi-Cal payment system for nursing homes – designed by the nursing home industry – allows this outrageous practice.

As is its custom with the media on nursing home oversight, the California Department of Public Health declined to grant interviews or discuss its process or criteria for deciding when to downgrade citations and fines. The state agency charged with preventing elder abuse in nursing homes almost never has anything to say on the subject.

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12/10/2021 New Consumer Voice Report Details Lack of Adequate Staffing Standards in Nursing Homes
A new report by Consumer Voice depicts the tremendous gap between the needs of nursing home residents and the actual staffing standards in states throughout the nation. Describing state staffing standards as “severely low,” the report contrasts each state’s staffing standards with research-based standards recommended by medical and healthcare professionals to ensure quality of care. With the exception of the District of Columbia, the report finds state standards for total nursing staff time fall short – often far short – of research-backed recommended staffing standards. And only six states, not including California, require a registered nurse 24/7 at all facilities.

Chronic understaffing has been a serious problem in nursing homes for decades and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research is clear that inadequate staffing contributes to lower quality of care and poor health outcomes for residents, yet no federal staffing standard exists. The new report makes a strong case for a federal staffing standard and strengthening of state staffing requirements.
12/10/2021 CANHR and Partners Issue Recommendations to Reform California’s Nursing Home Payment System
On November 22, 2021, CANHR and 13 partner organizations submitted a letter and recommendations 
to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on reforming California’s $5 billion-a-year Medi-Cal payment system for skilled nursing facilities, which is scheduled to sunset next year. The payment system, known as AB 1629, was originally enacted in 2004 and has been extended several times. Designed by the nursing home industry with promises to improve staffing and care, it has instead produced billionaire owners and epidemic levels of neglect throughout California nursing homes.
12/07/2021 U.S. Senate Holds Fate of Nursing Home Reforms in Build Back Better Act
On November 19, 2021, the United States House of Representatives passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, which includes five important provisions to improve protections for nursing home residents. The bill would require: 

    1. Nursing homes to have a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
    2. Staffing studies to determine a recommended minimum level of staffing hours for nursing homes and the commitment to implement those recommendations;
    3. Auditing of Medicare cost reports submitted by nursing homes to ensure accuracy;
    4. Improving the reliability of nursing facility data collection; and
    5. Improving survey and enforcement practices. 

The legislation is now before the U.S. Senate, which is expected to act on it before the end of the year. Senators are facing pressure from the nursing home industry to dilute the House version and take out the staffing improvement protections. 

CANHR strongly supports the nursing home resident protections and has joined with over 80 organizations in calling on Senate leadership to help enact these provisions. You can help by urging Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla of California to support including all five of the nursing home resident protections in the Senate’s version of the Build Back Better Act.

Read an editorial by Judith Stein of the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Mairead Painter, the Connecticut State Long Term Care Ombudsman, on seizing the moment to better protect nursing home residents.

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12/02/2021 Assisted Living Residents' Rights to Control Calls and Visits Vindicated by DSS
The Department of Social Services has released a new Provider Information Notice reminding Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) that all residents have control over their visits, calls, and outings unless a court has authorized the curtailment of their rights.  RCFE residents often have their access to visits, calls, and outings limited by family members or other third parties who lack the legal authority to do so.  While many of these surrogate decisionmakers are well-meaning, residents' legal rights can only be taken away by a judge.
11/30/2021 OIG Report Finds Many Problems with Nursing Home Evictions
new report from the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has found that considerable problems remain with illegal evictions in nursing homes and that a half-hearted federal effort to stop illegal evictions in 2017 has languished with uncertain results.

Following a number of media stories about illegal evictions, CMS issued a memo loosely aimed at increasing enforcement of the myriad protections that residents are supposed to have against poorly planned and unsafe discharges.  The OIG study found that while some eviction-related deficiencies issued against nursing homes rose in the few years since the CMS memo, there is no way of knowing whether CMS has had any kind of success in reducing illegal evictions - one, because CMS did not list measures for success and two, there is a paucity of data.

The OIG found that many of the organizations with responsibility for ensuring that resident protections are honored - CMS, state enforcement agencies, and the long-term care Ombudsman programs - are often uncoordinated when it comes to fighting illegal evictions and are hampered by a lack of eviction-related data.  The report also notes that state agencies tasked with residents' eviction appeals often do a poor job of actually stopping or remedying illegal evictions.  

The OIG concludes its report with some modest recommendations: facility training, reengagement by CMS, and more data collection, but does not address enhanced enforcement.  A second report, on nursing homes' compliance with eviction protections, is expected soon.

The lawsuit against CDPH was brought by Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE) which assists clients in filing nursing home complaints and having them resolved satisfactorily.

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11/23/2021 Court Finds State Has "Endemic Inability" to Finish Complaint Investigations in Timely Manner
On November 15, San Francisco Superior Court judge Ethan Schulman granted a Writ of Mandate against the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for failure to complete nursing home complaint investigations within the 60 day timeframes imposed by law.  Finding that CDPH "has not complied with the statutory deadlines in numerous respects" and that its noncompliance is "institutional and longstanding," the Court ordered CDPH to develop a written plan to start complying with the law.  The deadlines for complaint investigation have been around for years but complainants still routinely wait months and months, and sometimes years, for their complaints to be resolved.

The lawsuit against CDPH was brought by Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE) which assists clients in filing nursing home complaints and having them resolved satisfactorily. 
07/30/2021 New State Vaccination Rule for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
The State of California has taken an important step to safeguard the wellbeing of residents of long term care by mandating that virtually all facilities providing care in congregate settings take steps to ensure that their workers are vaccinated.

In an order issued July 26, the State mandates that hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and adult and senior care facilities verify the vaccination status of all employees, and that they require that all unvaccinated employees submit to testing twice weekly in skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities and once weekly in assisted living facilities. Vaccinated, asymptomatic employees need not be tested under the rule. The deadline for compliance is August 23.

The new rule has been issued just as the new Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus, now widespread throughout the U.S., has been identified by the CDC as both much more transmissible and potentially more virulent than previously thought
(posted July 30, 2021)
07/29/2021 How Many Staff Members are Vaccinated at Your Nursing Home?
It may be fewer than you would expect.

According to federal data as of July 11, 2021, less than 80 percent of current nursing home staff in California were vaccinated. However, variation from facility to facility was extreme, ranging from 0 to 100 percent. While 827 California nursing homes reported that 75 percent or more of staff are vaccinated, over 350 facilities fall below that rate. More than one hundred California nursing facilities reported that less than half of their staff is vaccinated or reported no data.

The vaccination rate data is posted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 Nursing Home Data webpage and is updated weekly.

Whenever possible, CANHR recommends that people looking for nursing homes avoid facilities where less than 75 percent of staff are currently vaccinated. All other things being equal, give preference to facilities where all, or nearly all, of staff and residents are vaccinated.
(posted July 29, 2021)
07/28/2021 CMS Restores Tougher Penalties for Nursing Home Violations
After a lawsuit filed in January 18, 2021 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) challenging CMS’s 2017 policy limiting the types of civil money penalties (CMPs) that can be imposed against nursing facilities, CMS has reversed course and announced plans to impose much stiffer penalties for nursing facility violations. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE (PDF) You can read more about the topic in this New York Times article.
(posted July 28, 2021)
07/13/2021 CANHR Joins Disability Rights Organizations Supporting Britney Spears' Right to Counsel of Her Choice
CANHR has joined with 26 other disability rights organizations to submit an amicus brief in the Britney Spears conservatorship case, arguing in support of Ms. Spears' right to have a lawyer of her own choosing. Amazingly, California law is not totally clear about the rights of conservatees or proposed conservatees to select their own attorney. Courts sometimes refuse to allow attorneys selected by conservatees to serve their clients, instead imposing a more "amenable" court-appointed attorney to serve. Thanks to the ACLU for leading this effort to support conservatee rights.
(posted July 13, 2021)
07/02/2021 Avoid Long Term Care Facilities with Restrictive Visitation Policies
Despite plummeting rates of COVID infections and deaths in nursing homes and the lifting of public health-oriented restrictions, long term care facilities throughout the state are still limiting visits from families and friends to a measly 30 minutes per week.  Other facilities, in stark contrast, are permitting extensive daily visitation.  The wide range of visitation policies among facilities has been enabled by the State’s continued waiver of laws that normally require broad visitation access for residents.
Potential residents and their loved ones are strongly encouraged to speak with the managers of facilities they are considering and ask for written copies of their visitation policies.  Facilities that are not willing to share their policies in writing or those that have restrictive policies should be avoided.

Some facilities are not going to allow more visitation until it starts costing them customers.

Please see our updated How to Choose a Nursing Home fact sheet for more information.
(posted July 2, 2021)

06/25/2021 Office of Inspector General Finds Deaths of Nursing Home Residents Soared by 32 Percent in 2020
A June 2021 report by the HHS Office of Inspector General found a horrific increase in the death rate of nursing home residents in 2020 beyond deaths caused by Covid-19. The report – COVID-19 Had a Devastating Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries in Nursing Homes During 2020 – reveals that deaths of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes during 2020 increased by 169,291 from the previous year. It also found that beneficiaries in nursing homes who were Black, Hispanic, Asian or on Medicaid were more likely to get COVID-19 and to die from it than others. The report concluded that understanding the pandemic’s effects on nursing home residents is necessary to prevent future tragedies.
(posted June 25, 2021)
06/25/2021 Advocates Propose Framework for Legislative and Administrative Changes to Benefit Nursing Homes Residents
A coalition of organizations that advocate for nursing home residents, including CANHR, have proposed a Framework for Nursing Home Reform Post COVID-19. The Framework for federal reform includes multiple proposals under six broad areas – (1) staffing and workforce; (2) regulation and enforcement; (3) ownership and management standards, transparency, and accountability for quality; (4) government payment systems, financial transparency, and accountability; (5) structural changes in the long-term care delivery system; and (6) nursing home redesign and rebuilding. Each proposal requires either legislative change by Congress or administrative action that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) could take under its current statutory authority.
(posted June 25, 2021)
06/25/2021 LAist Reports Medicare and Medi-Cal Paid Nearly a Half-Billion Dollars to Nursing Home Chain Whose Owner Who Was Denied a License Due to Dangerously Poor Care
Illustrating why bad actors are in the nursing home business, KPCC reported on June 16, 2021 that nursing homes connected to ReNew Health and its CEO, Crystal Solorzano, received more than $428 million in Medicare and Medi-Cal payments between 2016 and 2019. The story – Despite Multiple Citations for Deficient Care, Government Sent More Than $400M to Troubled Nursing Home Chain – reports that government money flowed to the chain despite violations that put residents’ lives at risk and despite regulators attempts to block Solorzano from acquiring additional nursing homes. According to LAist, “the same government agencies that found those facilities were dirty, understaffed and provided deficient care are also their biggest source of revenue.” The story is part of the ongoing ‘Unprotected’ series examining California’s failures on nursing home oversight, which began with KPCC/LAist’s in-depth investigation of Solorzano’s nursing home chain: Immediate Jeopardy: Death and Neglect Inside A Troubled California Nursing Home Chain.
(posted June 25, 2021)
06/15/2021 Sufficient Staffing is the Prescription to Prevent Dangerous Nursing Home Conditions Exposed by the Pandemic
What policies can best protect nursing home residents now and in the future from the overwhelming infection and death rates seen during the pandemic? That question is the subject of a thought-provoking June 2021 commentary by Professor Charlene Harrington of UCSF and other nursing home experts that was published by the HSOA Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine: Time to Ensure Sufficient Nursing Home Staffing and Eliminate Inequities in Care.
(posted June 15, 2021)
06/14/2021 Advocacy Organizations Call For Restoration of Visitation Rights in Nursing Homes
Frustrated with visitation policies that are stuck in pre-vaccine 2020, CANHR and several other nursing home resident advocacy organizations called on CMS to restore visitation rights in U.S. nursing homes. Many facilities across the country continue to limit visitation access for residents to 30 minutes per week, leading to extended isolation, deprivation of care, and harm to residents.
(posted June 14, 2021)
06/01/2021 News Series Points Out Huge Problems in California Conservatorship System
ABC 10 in Sacramento recently released a five-episode series on California’s flawed conservatorship system called “The Price of Care.”  The investigative report exposes broad problems in the way conservatorships are granted and monitored while featuring individual stories in which conservatees were placed in long term care facilities, separated from family members, and charged enormous sums by professionals who profit from the system.  While many of the conservatorship criticisms and themes featured in the series will not be new to those familiar with CANHR’s work, the series comes at a pivotal time in state reform efforts.  Two bills in Sacramento, AB 1194 (Low) and SB 724 (Allen), would make important positive changes to the conservatorship process and are discussed in the fifth episode.  ABC 10’s reporting is another example of recent media coverage of conservatorship problems that is contributing to a groundswell in demand for reform.
(posted June 1, 2021)
05/12/2021 State and Counties Sue Mariner Nursing Home Chain for Fraud, Understaffing, and Resident Dumping
A lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General and a group of District Attorneys throughout the state alleges that Mariner Health Care Inc., which runs 19 nursing homes in California, systemically broke laws and harmed patients "all to generate increased profits at the expense of resident care." 

The Mariner action follows a civil lawsuit filed against one of its facilities and a similar lawsuit filed by the AG and District Attorneys against the Brookdale nursing home chain. The complaint against Mariner alleges the chain:

  • failed to maintain sufficient staffing to meet the state minimums and the needs of its residents leading to poor wound care, pressure ulcers, lice, scabies, and sexual assaults;
  • illegally dumped residents with Medi-Cal coverage in favor of more highly reimbursed residents with Medicare coverage; and
  • falsified resident information reported to the government to fraudulently obtain a higher federal 5-star rating.

The Mariner and Brookdale lawsuits represent a new approach to nursing home enforcement in California, led by consumer advocates in the Attorney General's office and in District Attorneys' and City Attorneys' offices around the state. These resident champions are thankfully filling some of the void left by the weak enforcement efforts of our state Department of Public Health.

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05/10/2021 Federal Antipsychotic Quality Measure is Unreliable
A recent report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concludes that antipsychotic drug data used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is inaccurate, hampered by fraud, and gives a misleading impression of chemical restraint use in nursing homes.

Since 2012, CMS has used data that is self-reported by nursing homes to compile an antipsychotic drug "quality measure." The idea of the quality measure is to report the percentage of residents receiving an antipsychotic drug at least once a week, excluding "appropriate" drug uses, which includes treating schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, and Tourette's syndrome. The self-reported data purports to show that inappropriate antipsychotic use has declined by 41% since 2011. 

The OIG report criticizes CMS for relying exclusively on facility self-reported data. Facilities often misreport data, either by error or for their own self-interest, i.e., to make themselves look good. OIG cross-checked self-reported facility data with residents' Medicare prescription drug claims and found two significant accuracy problems. The first accuracy problem is that many residents (over 12,000!) received an antipsychotic drug according to their Medicare claims but the facility did not report the drug use to CMS. The second accuracy problem is that many residents (over 29,000!) were reported to have schizophrenia but their Medicare claims indicated they did not. In other words, nursing homes are hiding their antipsychotic drug use by making up phony schizophrenia diagnoses. Much of the concerns about CMS's antipsychotic quality measure was previously covered by CANHR.

The recommendations made by the OIG were sensible: CMS should obtain more data about antipsychotic use, like drug brand, dosage, and duration of use, to get a more complete picture of antipsychotics in nursing homes. The OIG also recommended CMS supplement facilities' self-reported data with data from other sources, such as the Medicare claims data.

CMS's response to the OIG findings were tone deaf. While acknowledging the wisdom of improving the accuracy of the data, CMS touted the same unreliable data to brag about the reduction in nursing home antipsychotic drug rates. When it comes to reducing antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes, CMS is trumpeting success that it knows has not really been achieved. Despite all of CMS's self-reported efforts, 20% of all nursing home residents still receive an antipsychotic drug and the vast majority of those residents are receiving them inappropriately.

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05/04/2021 The Consequences of Regulatory Failure: 132,000 Dead Nursing Home Residents
A new article in the Georgetown Law Review, “Nursing Homes, COVID-19, and the Consequences of Regulatory Failure,” by Syracuse Professor Nina Kohn attempts to explain why COVID-19 was so devastating to nursing homes in 2020. In the article, Professor Kohn condemns the idea that the enormous number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing homes was “inevitable” or “largely outside of [facilities'] control.” She goes on to summarize:

[T]he nursing-home-as-victim narrative belies the deliberate policy choices and regulatory failures that have shaped long-term care in the U.S. and enabled nursing homes to make choices that have long endangered the health and welfare of their residents. . . . The skyrocketing death rates in nursing homes are not merely the result of glitches in the public health response to COVID-19, but rather a predictable consequence of the failure to enforce federal regulations, gaps in regulatory requirements for facilities, and policies that steered vulnerable, older adults into these institutions in the first place.  

Professor Kohn critiques the nation’s slow rollout to address the massive vulnerability of nursing home residents to COVID-19: routine testing of staff and residents was not required until six months after the pandemic hit, PPE was not provided to nursing homes, and staff were permitted to work in multiple facilities. These failures combined with longstanding nursing home problems like chronic understaffing, entrenched underenforcement of regulatory standards, and disproportional long term care spending on institutional settings over home and community based settings (“perhaps the most fundamental policy failure”), to create a system that was almost totally unequipped to deal with a highly contagious, highly lethal virus.

The policy prescriptions Professor Kohn advises are comprehensive. She observes that facilities providing awful nursing home care are paid just about the same as facilities providing high quality care. Policymakers must do a better job of aligning nursing home reimbursement with higher quality. Higher direct care staffing should either be mandated or financially rewarded. The U.S. and states should consider adopting spending floors on direct care. Finally, more public dollars should be allocated away from institutional settings and directed to home and community based services.

Professor Kohn ends her article with a familiar axiom: creating a more humane long term care system is completely doable - the question is whether society and our policymakers are willing to make the commitment.

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04/23/2021 Court Ruling a Watershed for Victims of Resident Dumping
In a big victory for nursing home residents, a California court has ruled that residents who are dumped and refused readmission only need to prevail in their administrative fair hearing in order to establish a violation of their rights in a civil action against the facility.

The case involves former nursing home resident Gloria Single, who was dumped from a Sacramento nursing home called Pioneer House into a hospital and refused readmission in 2017. Ms. Single's husband lived at Pioneer House too so the facility's illegal refusal to readmit her meant the couple was kept apart for the rest of Ms. Single's life (she passed away in 2019). 

Shortly after her illegal eviction, Ms. Single exercised her right to appeal with the state Department of Health Care Services. Her appeal was successful and Pioneer House was ordered to readmit Ms. Single. But it didn't, choosing instead to thumb its nose at the State. Eventually, Ms. Single filed suit.

The court's order found that Ms. Single's successful appeal creates "issue preclusion," meaning the determination of Pioneer House's conduct as illegal had already been adjudicated in the administrative appeal and carried over to Ms. Single's civil case. Thus, nursing home residents who prove that their facility violated their rights in a state eviction hearing are entitled to judgment as a matter of law in a subsequent civil action.

Gloria Single is represented by Matt Borden of Braunhagey & Borden. Braunhagey & Borden have spent the last several years successfully fighting for justice for illegally dumped nursing home residents.

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04/12/2021 Nonprofit Newsrooms Put Spotlight on Unfit, Unlicensed Nursing Home Operators in California
On April 6, two nonprofit newsrooms in California published findings of remarkable investigations of California nursing home chains that are expanding their operations despite decisions by state regulators that they are unfit to be licensed. 

Reporters for KPCC/LAist investigated ReNew Health Group and its CEO, Crystal Solorzano, who it reports owns or is affiliated with at least 26 nursing homes throughout California. Their article – Immediate Jeopardy: Death and Neglect Inside a Troubled California Nursing Home Chain ­– reports that the chain racked up an inordinate number of citations, many for severe infractions known as “Immediate Jeopardies” related to extreme abuse and neglect of residents, such as an alleged rape, an extraordinarily unsafe discharge, and more. State regulators denied Solorzano’s request to take over nine nursing homes and moved to revoke her nursing home administrator license, yet the story reports they have not stopped her from growing the nursing home chain she founded. 

A CalMatters investigation found that state officials have let the state’s largest nursing home owner, Shlomo Rechnitz, and his companies operate 18 nursing homes for years while failing to decide whether to grant the required licenses. Furthermore, CalMatters reports that Rechnitz and his companies are operating five other skilled nursing facilities despite the Department of Public Health denying their licensure applications in 2016 due to poor track records. According to the story – California oversight of nursing homes called ‘befuddling,’ ‘broken’ – Rechnitz continued to acquire nursing homes during the pandemic.

Both stories reported that AB 1502 (Muratsuchi) – a CANHR sponsored bill to reform nursing home ownership in California – has been sidelined and will not be heard until next year.

The stories are part of 'Unprotected,' an ongoing series examining California's failures on nursing home oversight, done in collaboration with other nonprofit newsrooms.

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03/26/2021 Human Rights Watch Report Examines Lethal Nursing Home Understaffing and Neglect
new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) summarizes the horrible neglect and isolation in nursing homes during the pandemic.  In the knee jerk (and ultimately highly unsuccessful) effort to protect residents from COVID-19, policymakers banned visitors that had previously provided significant levels of care to residents, waived minimum staffing requirements, and suspended routine oversight.  As explained to HRW by several dozen nursing home staff members, residents and resident family members, these policies strained pre-existing understaffing problems and led to weight loss, dehydration, bed sores, poor hygiene, and profound isolation among residents.  As of November 2020, it was estimated that nursing homes experienced 40,000 excess deaths (more than would be expected given historical data) not caused by COVID-19.  Policymakers' decisions to isolate nursing homes and withdraw access and oversight in order to save residents tragically "caused serious harm to many people."
03/17/2021 AG Becerra and DA Coalition Sue Brookdale Senior Living for Illegal Discharges and Five-Star Fraud
On March 15, 2021, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a coalition of district and city attorneys, led by Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, sued Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. in Kern County Superior Court, alleging that Brookdale endangered residents of ten California skilled nursing facilities by failing to properly notify or prepare residents before transfers and discharges. The lawsuit also alleges that Brookdale over-reported staffing levels to the federal government, resulting in fraudulent increases to its federal star ratings for purposes of attracting potential residents. Brookdale is the nation’s largest senior living facility operator.
Read the press release.
03/17/2021 New York Times Slams Federal Rating System for Nursing Homes
A scathing March 13, 2021 article by the New York Times – In U.S. nursing homes, where Covid-19 killed scores, even reports of maggots and rape don’t dock five-star ratings – bluntly declared that the federal government’s five-star rating system for nursing homes “is broken.” The Times described five-star rated nursing homes with residents who had bone-deep bed sores and others who were reportedly raped, drugged, abused and seriously injured due to mistreatment. Moreover, it documented operators routinely gaming the ratings by submitting inflated staffing data and falsified resident care information that makes facilities seem cleaner and safer than they are. Because operators could score high ratings without improving their care, it concluded that nursing homes may have been unprepared for the pandemic. More than 130,000 U.S. nursing home residents have died of Covid-19, and the Times’s analysis found that people at five-star facilities were roughly as likely to die of the disease as those at one-star homes.
02/23/2021 Vaccines Are Reducing COVID Outbreaks in Nursing Homes
study from the American Health Care Association has found that the COVID-19 vaccines are contributing to lower infection rates and COVID spread in nursing homes.  This study, based on preliminary data gathered shortly after the introduction of the vaccine in nursing homes in late 2020, provides evidence in favor of reopening nursing homes after its residents and staff have been vaccinated.

Nursing homes residents have largely had no in-person visitation with family and friends since COVID first blew up in the United States in March 2020.  While outbreaks have ebbed and flowed in facilities across the country, the visitation prohibition has persisted, leaving residents suffering from extreme isolation and neglect.
02/18/2021 Los Angeles County Inspector General Issues Second Report on Nursing Home Crisis

On February 16, the Los Angeles County Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued its second report of an ongoing investigation into the crisis in nursing homes. The report and related findings from the Auditor-Controller pick up where the first interim report left off in describing the County Department of Public Health’s dysfunctional nursing home oversight system.

The new report takes an in-depth look at the evacuation of two Pasadena nursing homes that exposed their residents to life-threatening conditions during the pandemic; describes the concerns of numerous inspectors who complained that the safety of residents who live in nursing homes in L.A. County is compromised by pressures they face to prematurely close investigations and understate serious violations; makes the connection between chronically poor care and profiteering nursing home chains; and identifies systemic management failures that prevent the Department of Public Health’s Health Facility Inspection Division from prioritizing its work and from holding nursing homes accountable.

The report contains thirteen recommendations, beginning with a recommendation to develop a comprehensive county-wide skilled nursing facility crisis mitigation and response plan. It closes with a statement that “the OIG will further analyze the complex issues involving ownership structures, and make corresponding recommendations, in its final report.”

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01/19/2021 CANHR Files Lawsuit Against CMS Over Weakened Nursing Home Enforcement
On January 18, CANHR and the Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care sued the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over a 2017 policy directive that pushes nursing home enforcers into smaller "per instance" fines instead of "per diem" fines that hold facilities accountable for each day of their wrongdoing.  The directive has been particularly loathsome during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when strong enforcement of our nursing home care standards has never been more important.  Read AARP's press release about the lawsuit here.  CANHR is being represented by AARP Foundation and Constantine Cannon LLP.
01/19/2021 Spectrum Institute to Co-Host Free Town Hall on California's Conservatorship System - February 1 at 11:00.
The Spectrum Institute and some other organizations will be hosting a town hall meeting on February 1 at 11:00 to review the problems in California's conservatorship system and discuss possible reform efforts.
Download flyer with more information HERE.
01/19/2021 New Study Examines COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in California’s Nursing Homes
On December 1, the California Health Care Foundation released a new report – COVID-19 in California’s Nursing Homes: Factors Associated with Cases and Deaths – that was prepared by a team of researchers from UCSF, Cal Hospital Compare and IBM Watson Health. Early in the pandemic, the study found that low staffing levels and for-profit ownership were major factors triggering outbreaks and deaths in California nursing homes. For-profit nursing homes had COVID-19 case rates five to six times higher than those of nonprofit and government-run nursing homes while facilities with RN staffing greater than 0.8 hours per resident day had 50 percent fewer COVID cases than nursing homes that staffed below that level. As the pandemic spread, demographic factors including age and race were found to be significant risk factors. For example, nursing homes with higher percentages of Latino residents were found to have larger outbreaks than those with smaller populations of Latino residents. The report contains a series of important recommendations on staffing, ownership oversight, health equity promotion, facility size and design, transparency and public reporting of data.

Read the Los Angeles Times article on the report: As virus again surges in California, race is a defining factor in nursing facilities, research shows
Read the San Francisco Chronicle article on the report: Coronavirus cases and deaths soared in nursing homes across California. Here’s why

12/02/2020 Can Long Term Care Facility Residents Go Home for the Holidays During the Pandemic?
In addition to the over 90,000 reported deaths due to COVID-19 in the nation’s nursing homes since March, the Associated Press is reporting findings that more than 40,000 additional residents died prematurely due to other causes. Those “excess deaths” were identified through an analysis conducted by Stephen Kaye, a professor at the Institute on Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco. The November 18 AP article – Not just COVID: Nursing home neglect deaths surge in shadows – describes a tandem wave of horrific deaths in nursing homes due to extreme neglect and isolation. The analysis found that for every two COVID-19 victims in nursing homes, there is another who died prematurely of other causes.

California officials have turned a blind eye toward this wave of deadly neglect by suspending regular inspections that evaluate the quality of care in nursing homes. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) authority to restore full inspections more than three months ago, yet it still hasn’t done so, opting instead to divert inspectors to narrowly focused infection control surveys that its own inspectors have harshly criticized for ignoring neglect. Alarmingly, CDPH’s actions are helping to cover up neglect rather than to detect and stop it.

Not surprisingly, the AP’s investigation points to understaffing as a primary cause of the neglect. Here too, the CDPH is aiding negligent nursing home operators and exposing residents to neglect by rubber-stamping hundreds of operators’ requests to waive California’s minimum staffing standards during the pandemic. CDPH has granted such waivers to over 300 skilled nursing facilities, including to some of the worst performing nursing homes in the state.

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12/02/2020 California Department of Public Health Moving Forward with Divisive Plan to Turn Inspectors into Consultants to Nursing Home Operators
On November 20, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) wrote CANHR rejecting CANHR’s call to withdraw its misguided plan to turn nursing home inspectors into consultants to nursing homes. After spending the summer touting the benefits of a consultative role for inspectors, CDPH now disingenuously claims that its new survey model will not be consultative. Its actual plan and revised duty statement for inspectors show otherwise. The highly controversial duty statement is the subject of an Unfair Practice Charge filed on August 28 by SEIU Local 1000, the union representing RN inspectors, against CDPH.
11/23/2020 Can Long Term Care Facility Residents Go Home for the Holidays During the Pandemic?
While recognizing they have a right to do so, public authorities are recommending that residents not leave facilities to gather together with loved ones during the public health emergency. In recent days, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) have all issued alerts discouraging residents from participating in in-person family gatherings during the holidays.

What happens to those who leave? Authorities are urging them to minimize risks and are recommending various precautions to limit exposure to the virus. Although residents have the right to return following a holiday gathering, authorities have directed nursing homes and assisted living facilities to screen and monitor residents carefully, to test them when indicated, and, when appropriate, to quarantine returning residents for 14 days. CANHR recommends residents and their representatives speak to facility management - in advance - about any plans they have for holiday outings and seek information, preferably in writing, about the facility's protocols for returning to the facility.

On November 19, the Center for Medicare Advocacy updated its annual alert – Home for the Holidays: Leaving the Nursing Home During a Medicare-Covered Stay – to address the recent CMS guidance to residents, families and facilities on family holiday gatherings during the pandemic.

Read the November 18, 2020 CMS alert to Nursing Home Residents and Their Families on Holiday Gathering and Outings.
Read the November 20, 2020 CDPH All Facility Letter 20-86.1 to Long Term Care Facilities on COVID-19 Infection Control Recommendations during Holiday Celebrations
Read the November 20, 2020 CDSS Provider Information Notice 20-42-ASC on COVID-19 Infection Control Guidance for Celebrations and Outings

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11/23/2020 Nursing Home Complaints Undermined by CDPH Website Change
What happened? Due to a change in the way CDPH formats its on-line complaint form, people who file complaints against health facilities, including nursing homes, no longer see fields in which they can input their contact information. Therefore, complaints are being received as anonymous.

Why does this change matter? If a complainant does not enter their contact information, the results of the complaint will not be communicated to the complainant. In addition, the investigator assigned to the complaint will not be able to gather any additional information from the complainant. Both of these problems will increase the likelihood that complaints are not fully investigated.

What can I do? If you have filed a complaint in 2020 and have not received a letter officially opening the investigation, re-file your complaint asap.

Can I still file complaints on-line? Yes, just be sure to enter your (the complainant's) information in the "complainant information (optional)" box on the complaint website - unless of course you wish to remain anonymous. To file a complaint, go to
and enter the facility name. To open the complainant information input fields, click on the arrow in the "complainant information (optional)" box. A picture of the box is below.

When will this problem be corrected? We don't know. CDPH is aware of the problem and has agreed to update the website to resolve it.

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10/16/2020 Los Angeles County Inspector General Issues First Report on Nursing Home Investigation
On October 14, the Inspector General appointed to investigate the crisis in Los Angeles County nursing homes released the first interim instalment of what will be a multi-part report. Even this first report makes it clear that the County's Department of Public Health, which contracts with the State to provide oversight and inspection of Los Angeles facilities, has badly failed the County's long term care residents.

The report states that almost half of the 5,407 current nursing home complaints concerning County residents have remained open for over three years, and that 547 investigations involving residents in immediate jeopardy are unresolved. The report also raises questions regarding the County DPH's designation of dozens of poorly performing nursing homes as facilities dedicated to COVID treatment. While the initial report draws needed attention to the County's dysfunctional oversight, it remains to be seen if the continuing investigation will identify and address the horrific conditions that have endangered nursing home residents in the County for decades.

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10/15/2020 CANHR Fights California Department of Public Health Plan to Transform Nursing Home Inspectors into Advisors to Operators
On October 5, CANHR wrote the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urging it to withdraw its deceptively named nursing home oversight plan – Quality and Safety State SNF Survey Model – that would divert its inspector workforce by requiring inspectors to conduct collaborative monitoring visits at skilled nursing facilities. CANHR’s letter also urges CDPH to rescind a new duty statement for nursing home inspectors that requires inspectors to spend 30 percent of their time advising and assisting nursing home operators on regulatory matters. The highly controversial duty statement is the subject of an Unfair Practice Charge filed on August 28 by SEIU Local 1000, the union representing RN inspectors, against CDPH.
10/15/2020 Office of Inspector General Reports States Are Still Not Investigating Nursing Home Complaints in a Timely Manner
The latest in a long line of investigations on failed oversight of nursing homes found that many states are consistently failing to meet federal performance standards for investigating high priority complaints. The findings are detailed in a September 2020 report by the federal HHS Office of Inspector General: States Continued to Fall Short in Meeting Required Timeframes for Investigating Nursing Home Complaints: 2016-2018.
10/13/2020 KPBS Reviews Abuse and Big Profits in El Cajon Nursing Home
A recent two-part series from KPBS examined abuse, poor care, and big profits at Avocado Post Acute, a nursing home in El Cajon. The first story focused on an alleged sexual assault perpetrated by a certified nursing assistant (CNA) against a resident. The resident reported the incident to multiple staff members within hours after it happened but the facility management did not respond timely or appropriately. The CNA accused of the assault was initially permitted to return to work and may have committed sexual misconduct at different nursing homes before and after the alleged incident at Avocado Post Acute. The second story reported that Avocado has a very poor track record for regulatory compliance and has significantly understaffed its facility, causing harm to residents while reaping big profits for the owners.

For the alleged sexual assault and failure to appropriately report the allegations to the authorities, Avocado Post Acute received two minor federal deficiencies deemed "no harm." No state citation was issued despite a law making the failure to report alleged abuse within 24 hours an automatic Class B citation.
10/2/2020 Voting during COVID-19 For Nursing Facility and Assisted Living Residents
There’s a big election coming up in November. If you live in an assisted living or nursing facility, you should be aware that you do not lose your right to vote just because you move into long-term care. However, you might face a number of practical barriers to exercising your right to vote, and many of these barriers will be exacerbated in the context of COVID-19.
CLICK HERE for guidance for residents planning to exercise their right to vote this November.
9/28/2020Governor Newsom Vetoes CANHR Co-sponsored Bill Requiring Skilled Nursing Facilities to Keep Residents Safe During Power Outages
On September 25, Governor Newsom vetoed SB 1207, a critically important bill by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson that would have required skilled nursing facilities to have an alternative source of power to protect resident health and safety and maintain safe temperatures for at least 96 hours during any type of power outage. Senator Jackson’s bill – The Nursing Home Resident Safety Act – had near unanimous, bipartisan support in the Legislature and was a priority measure for the Senate Wildfire Working Group. SB 1207 was co-sponsored by CANHR and Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of San Luis Obispo County and supported by many advocacy, human service and governmental organizations. Read CANHR’s September 28, 2020 press release on the veto
9/28/2020 White House Commission Urges Feds for More Resources (But Not Enforcement) in Nursing Homes
The White House's Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes released an extensive report reviewing lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations to improve safety in nursing homes related to infection control. The report sets forth dozens of potential "action steps" for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal and state agencies to take to foster better infection control involving:
- COVID-19 testing;
- providing PPE and training staff to use it;
- updating resident visitation and cohorting policies to be more sensitive to the balance between safety and quality of life; and
- supporting staff/caregivers.
Essentially, the report calls for more funding and guidance from the government to nursing homes. The report is notably missing recommendations regarding better enforcement of nursing home standards of care and are meant to reduce the spread of infection and enhance resident well-being.
Commission member Eric Carlson of Justice in Aging refused to endorse the report, instead writing a three-page rebuke of the report's failures. Eric writes "[the report] recommends dozens of obligations for the federal government, but does little to set higher standards for nursing homes, or to ensure nursing home accountability." The report sets up CMS to act as financial supporter, consultant, and educator to nursing homes rather than its legal role as an enforcement agency charged with consumer protection. A similar effort to transform regulators from enforcers to job coaches has taken root in California and threatens to further degrade regulatory compliance.
9/14/2020 Health Affairs Study: Lower COVID Mortality Rates at Unionized Nursing Homes
A new study from Health Affairs shows that nursing homes with unionized staff members have had 30% fewer resident deaths from COVID-19 than facilities without unions. In addition, the unionized nursing homes had a 42% smaller COVID infection rate than homes without unions. The study reviewed COVID cases in New York nursing homes from March through May 2020. The authors of the study pointed out that unionized nursing homes benefited from having greater access to PPE, such as N95 masks and face shields, and generally provide better care historically than nursing homes without unions. In addition to the lack of union presence, the study found that facilities fared worse on COVID-19 when they were part of a nursing home chain chain or had poor CNA staffing.
9/9/2020 Urge Governor to Protect Nursing Home Residents from Deadly Power Outages
Please help support SB 1207 (Jackson) by urging Governor Newsom to sign it. This critical bill codifies federal standards that require skilled nursing facilities to have an alternative source of power to protect resident health and safety and maintain safe temperatures for 96 hours during any type of power outage. CANHR and Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of San Luis Obispo County are co-sponsoring SB 1207.
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9/3/2020 California Department of Public Health Issues New Visitation Guidance
On August 25, the California Department of Public Health (DPH) issued All Facilities Letter 20-22.4 outlining some significant changes to the State’s ever-evolving guidance relating to visiting nursing homes and other health facilities during the COVID pandemic.
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8/31/2020 New Research: Nursing Homes Inflate CMS "Quality Measures"
It should surprise nobody to hear that new research finds nursing homes inaccurately report the conditions of their residents when submitting "quality measure" data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The self-reported data is used as one of three major components to a facility's federal 5-star rating. For years, nursing home resident advocates have argued that any ratings system should not rely on unaudited, self-reported data from the nursing homes themselves because they have an incentive to report inflated data. In the new research, quality measure data was compared to Medicare claims data for nursing home residents who were hospitalized. The comparisons demonstrated that nursing homes substantially underreport the number of residents who develop pressure sores while in the facility. The data also showed inaccurate reporting regarding urinary tract infections (UTIs) and resident falls.
7/29/2020 Congressional Committee Releases Report on Overdrugging Problem Ravaging Nursing Homes
The House Ways & Means Committee has released a report examining the continued misuse of antipsychotic drugs in America's nursing homes. While the report is a much needed analysis of the awful state of chemical restraint use in nursing homes, the report is also very frustrating as it comes forty-five years after a seminal Congressional hearing talking about the same exact problems.

The new report highlights that, despite a highly-touted eight year old CMS campaign to reduce antipsychotics in nursing homes, the rate of residents given antipsychotics remains stubbornly high at 20%. CMS continues to use a disingenuous measure for "appropriate" use of antipsychotics that understates the actual rate of misuse, especially now that it is gamed by nursing homes everywhere.

Much of the report analyzes the enforcement of laws prohibiting misuse of antipsychotics and finds some very disturbing trends. Enforcement is down, with fewer citations issued against facilities for misusing antipsychotics and smaller fines when citations are issued. Most alarming, a miniscule 0.02% of cited antipsychotic misuse was found by government investigators to have committed any harm to the victims. This leads to a slap-on-the-wrist enforcement problem that encourages continued misuse. The 0.02% rate powerfully demonstrates that the enforcement system is broken when it comes to antipsychotic misuse.

California does not fare well in the report. Citations for antipsychotic misuse in California nursing homes decreased 36% from 2016 to 2018 despite the fact that antipsychotic usage rates increased from 19.3% to 19.6%.

This new report is a good reminder that chemically restraining residents remains business as usual in many nursing homes and that our laws prohibiting chemical restraints continue to be largely ignored. Until enforcement of the laws is prioritized, residents will continue to tragically suffer in harmful drug stupors.

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7/27/2020 California Department of Public Health Endangers Lives and Mission of Nursing Home Inspectors
The notoriously mismanaged California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is back in the news again for all of the wrong reasons. Not only has the Department now acknowledged that it has failed to regularly test for COVID-19 the inspectors surveying nursing facilities with outbreaks of the virus, but it has embarked upon a sweeping plan to undermine the independence and reliability of its own inspection program at a time when nursing home residents need rigorous enforcement most.
7/23/2020 Demand Outdoor Visitation at Nursing Homes Using Our New Template Letter.
Outdoor visitation is now required in California nursing homes but many facilities have not gotten the memo. Here is a sample letter to use to distribute the memo and get outdoor visits for nursing home residents.
7/20/2020 Two Studies Find Strong Connection Between Nurse Staffing and COVID-19.
Two new studies have found a close relationship between RN staffing and COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths in nursing homes. The first study reviewed reported COVID-19 infections in California through May 4 and identified three factors associated with increased risk of COVID-19 in nursing homes: higher numbers of past health deficiencies, larger facilities with more residents, and lower federal 5-star ratings. The strongest relationship, however, was RN staffing. Nursing homes with .75 hours of RN staffing per resident per day were half as likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak.

The second study looked at COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in Connecticut nursing homes as of April 16. This study found a significant association between the extent of outbreaks (the number of COVID-19 cases a facility had, once it had a case) and four factors: federal 5-star ratings, the concentration of residents on Medi-Cal, the concentration of racial and ethnic minority residents, and RN staffing. RN staffing was also strongly associated with the number of COVID-19 deaths in facilities: every 20 minute increase in RN staffing predicted a 26% reduction in deaths. The study authors concluded that facilities with better compliance with care standards are better able to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The two studies counter the ridiculous narrative, perpetuated by the nursing home industry, that nursing home quality is somehow not related to COVID-19 outbreaks. Of course, quality matters and RN staffing in particular is strongly associated with fewer cases and deaths. Hopefully, our federal and state policymakers are paying attention and will direct RN resources to nursing homes to combat COVID outbreaks among nursing homes.

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7/15/2020 New Coalition Releases Brief to Oppose Immunity for Deadly Long Term Care
The Coalition for the Protection of Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities has issued a new brief opposing immunity for long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many states have already provided cover to facilities that neglected and abused residents during the pandemic. Now Congress and California are considering similar legislation. The brief lists actions Congress can take to protect, rather than forsake, long-term care facility residents.
7/13/2020 New Visitation Fact Sheet Released.
CANHR has reviewed the various federal and California guidance regarding visitation in long term care facilities and synthesized the rules into a new fact sheet to guide residents and their families. The fact sheets highlight the types of visitation nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly must provide and under what conditions as well as the infection control protocols facilities may impose during visits. Download the Fact Sheet HERE (PDF).
7/8/2020 LTCCC Podcast Features #VisitationSavesLives
A recent podcast from the Long Term Care Community Coalition takes on the tragedy of the visitation ban in long term care facilities. CANHR Staff Attorney Tony Chicotel and CANHR's #VisitationSavesLives campaign is featured in the podcast. The episode is called "The Eyes, Ears, and Voice: Why Nursing Home Visitation Saves Lives."
7/7/2020 Governor Signs Law Extending AB 1629 Reimbursement System for Skilled Nursing Facilities
On June 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 81, a budget bill that extends the Medi-Cal reimbursement system for freestanding skilled nursing facilities through the end of 2022. Known as “AB 1629” for the 2004 legislation that created it, the failed payment system has been a magnet for unscrupulous operators who have profited at residents’ and Medi-Cal’s expense.

The extension does not contain any of the reforms CANHR recommended, however, it is a somewhat reduced windfall for nursing home chains than they and the Newsom Administration had sought. The amended law provides aggregate rate increases of 3.62 percent through the end of calendar year 2020, 3.5 percent in calendar year 2021 and 2.4 percent in calendar year 2022.

Additionally, skilled nursing facilities will receive increased Medi-Cal payments for any new federal or state mandates plus, under separate authority, a 10 percent rate increase retroactive to March 1, 2020 that will continue until the end of the emergency period.

Collectively, these provisions will increase Medi-Cal payments to skilled nursing facility operators in California by more than $500 million through 2022. These generous increases are on top of multiple multi-billion dollar bailouts the federal government is providing to the nursing home industry.

In addition to increasing payments to nursing home operators, the extension made other changes to the payment system. Some of interest include:

• Beginning in 2021, requiring the Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) to assess monthly penalties up to $50,000 when SNFs are found to be out of compliance with minimum staffing requirements, minimum wage laws or wage pass-through requirements.

• Increasing penalties, imposed by the Department of Public Health, on facilities for failing to meet the nursing hours or direct care service hours per patient per day statutory requirements.

• Requiring DHCS to audit facility costs and revenues that are associated with the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency to determine whether a facility has adequately used increased Medi-Cal payments associated with the emergency only for allowable costs.

• Requiring a facility that received increased Medi-Cal payments associated with COVID-19 to provide any information requested by DHCS on emergency-related costs and revenues at the time and in the manner specified by DHCS; and requiring DHCS to recoup any amounts of increased Medi-Cal payments that were not used to support the delivery of patient care.

• Requiring DHCS to convene a stakeholder process by September 1, 2021 to develop a successor supplemental payment or similar quality-based payment methodology to replace the existing program, to begin in 2023.

A more complete summary of the changes to the payment system can be found here.

The extension took effect immediately when signed on June 29, 2020.

click to read more
7/6/2020 New Policy from Department of Public Health Restores Some Visitation Rights in Nursing Homes.
On June 26, the California Department of Public Health released a new policy regarding visitation that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES nursing homes to permit visitors for outdoor and indoor visits. Facilities with no current COVID-19 outbreak must permit outdoor visitation. Indoor visits must be permitted if a facility meets six criteria: 1. no current COVID-19 outbreak, 2. a decline in cases in the community, 3. no new COVID-19 cases in the facility for the past 14 days, 4. no staffing shortages and not using a COVID-19 staffing waiver, 5) an adequate testing plan per AFL 20-53, and 6) an approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan. For indoor visits, only one designated visitor allowed per resident (per visit - more than one visitor may visit, just not at the same time). All visits (indoor or outdoor) must be scheduled in advance with visitors screened for fever or COVID-19 symptoms. All visitors must comply with social distancing (6 feet or more physical distancing), wear facial coverings, and permit staff monitoring to ensure compliance with infection control guidelines.
The new policy may have been partially motivated by CANHR's ongoing #VisitationSavesLives campaign. Now that residents have some of their rights back, the campaign will advocate for better state enforcement as well as restoring the visitation rights of assisted living residents, who were not affected by the shift in state policy.
6/22/2020 Great news! SB 1207 (Jackson) on Backup Power in Skilled Nursing Facilities Passes Senate by 36-0 Vote, Moves on to the Assembly!
Today the California Senate unanimously passed Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s bill, SB 1207, to help save the lives of California nursing home residents during power outages that may result from public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), emergencies, natural disasters, and other causes. CANHR and Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of San Luis Obispo County are co-sponsoring SB 1207. The bill codifies existing federal standards that require skilled nursing facilities to have an alternative source of power to protect resident health and safety and maintain safe temperatures for 96 hours during any type of power outage. As the COVID-19 pandemic collides with wildfire season, the critical need to keep residents safe in their facilities and out of emergency shelters is greater than ever. Over 2,200 California nursing home residents have died already from the coronavirus. It has never been more apparent that California needs to do a much better job of protecting the lives of nursing home residents. SB 1207 moves next to the California Assembly, where it will likely be assigned to a policy committee and first be heard sometime during July.
6/08/2020 CANR Releases Ten-Point Plan to Reform California Nursing Homes
This is CANHR's Ten-Point Reform Plan that responds to the nightmarish conditions California nursing home residents have faced throughout the pandemic and for years before the coronavirus arrived. The sweeping plan addresses longstanding failings that the pandemic has exposed for all to see, starting with the need to give top priority to helping people stay out of nursing homes. It also addresses living conditions, safe staffing, emergency preparedness, nursing home slumlords, bad actors, self-dealing schemes, justice for elder abuse victims and independence from the nursing home industry.
Click HERE to download and read it (pdf).
6/03/2020 “The Doctors” Show Takes on Nursing Home Resident Dumping
A recent episode of “The Doctors” reviewed the continuing problem of nursing homes that dump residents into hospitals and refuse to take them back. CANHR’s lawsuit against the State to stop this practice continues in federal court.
Segment 1: "Nursing Homes Illegally Evicting Patients?"
Segment 2: "Know Your Rights as a Nursing Home Patient"
Segment 3: "How to Make Sure a Nursing Home is Reputable"
5/26/2020 Newsom Administration Plans to Gut Home and Community Based Services, Use Savings to Fund Large Increases for Substandard Nursing Homes
Does California have the money to maintain its vital programs that are aimed at keeping people who need long term care at home and out of nursing homes?
It turns out it does, but the Administration has decided to terminate, gut and slash those programs in order to further enrich unscrupulous nursing home operators who are using the pandemic as cover for their latest money grab at the Capitol.
5/20/2020 GAO Study Finds Persistent Subpar Infection Control and Enforcement in Nursing Homes
A new GAO study has found an extraordinary number of nursing homes have been cited for poor infection control practices in recent years and state nursing home enforcement agencies almost never find these poor practices harmful. The GAO reports that 82% of the nation's nursing homes were cited for bad infection prevention in 2013-2017, ranging from staff members failing to wash their hands to failing to isolate sick and infectious residents. Almost half of all facilities were cited in multiple consecutive years, indicating a deeply persistent problem with infection control compliance.
Equally striking, 99% of the thousands of citations were labeled by state enforcement agencies as "non-harmful" to residents, meaning they were not accompanied by any actual enforcement action. This slap on the wrist treatment for bad infection control practices tacitly encouraged horrible infection control in nursing homes which has contributed to the massive number of deaths residents are suffering now from COVID-19.
The GAO study confirms that years of red flags regarding infection control in nursing homes were ignored, much to our detriment. Stronger enforcement of our infection control standards is desperately needed.
10/31/2019 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.
10/31/2019 An open letter to Governor Newsom & Attorney General Becerra Imploring an End to Nursing Home Resident Dumping
Click here to read the full letter.
10/24/2019 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.
10/21/2019 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
10/11/2019 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
10/03/2019 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.
10/03/2019 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
10/03/2019 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
10/03/2019 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
09/20/2019 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!
09/20/2019 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...
09/11/2019 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...
09/10/2019 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.
09/01/2019 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%. Read More...
07/30/2019 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.
07/29/2019 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. Read More...
07/29/2019 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. Read More...
07/29/2019 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. Read More...
07/26/2019 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. Read More...
07/19/2019 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. Read More...
07/18/2019 The Feds’ About-Face on Arbitration Agreements: From “Fundamentally Unfair” to Not-So-Bad
This week the Trump Administration released its new rule regarding pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements (“arbitration agreements”) in nursing homes.  The old rule, adopted just three years ago, prohibited the use of arbitration agreements because “there is significant evidence that [arbitration agreements] have a deleterious impact on the quality of care for [residents]” and they are “fundamentally unfair.”
07/08/2019 Department of Public Health Approves Provisional License for New Rechnitz Nursing Home
On June 25, 2019, the Department of Public Health (DPH) approved a provisional license for The Springs Healthcare Center, a new skilled nursing facility in Murrieta owned by Shlomo Rechnitz and Jose Lynch. In doing so, DPH ignored a long history of neglect at many Rechnitz-owned nursing homes, which DPH itself has documented in great detail, over and over again. Read More...
07/08/2019 Horrific Abuse Scandal Exposed at Laguna Honda
On June 28, 2019, San Francisco’s mayor and other officials held a press conference to discuss a horrific abuse scandal at Laguna Honda, one of the nation’s largest skilled nursing facilities. According to the officials and a press release by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, a group of six employees abused 23 residents over a period of  years, subjecting them to verbal and physical abuse, sexual harassment, drugging, humiliation, neglect and other despicable acts. Read More...
07/08/2019 New Study Finds 75 Percent of Nursing Homes Almost Never Have Enough RN staff to Meet Resident Needs
A July 2019 study published in Health Affairs reports that new Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) data from nursing homes show that few of them ever have enough registered nurse (RN) staffing to meet resident needs, weekend staffing is low, and there are large fluctuations in daily staffing levels. One of the study’s authors described the finding on RN staffing as “staggering.”
07/08/2019 OIG Investigation Finds that Nursing Home Abuse is Rarely Reported
A disturbing June 2019 report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the federal Department of Health and Human Services revealed that skilled nursing facilities failed to report 84 percent of cases of suspected abuse involving high-risk emergency hospitalizations of residents. Read More...

Mass Drugging and Mass Violations in Lomita Nursing Home
A review of the drug regimens for 27 residents at Palos Verdes Health Care Center revealed inappropriate use of psychotropic drugs to control the behavior of many residents in the facility.

06/12/2019 California’s Hypocritical Move to Stop Trump Administration "Conscience" Protection Rules
The State of California recently asked a federal court to stop the implementation of new federal rules protecting health care providers who refuse to give treatment based on the providers’ religious beliefs or "conscience." Read More...
06/03/2019 New Report Outs Secret List of Nation’s Worst Performing Nursing Homes
On June 3, 2019, U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania released a report and a list of over 400 nursing homes that are candidates for the federal Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. The SFF program provides increased oversight of nursing homes that “substantially fail” to meet required care standards. These facilities are considered to be among the worst performing nursing homes in the nation. Read More...

Labor Exploiters Operating RCFEs in California
A new exposé from Reveal focuses on illegal labor practices in California assisted living facilities, also known as RCFEs (Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly). The article reveals a shocking number of illegal labor cases where caregivers are exploited to supply facility operators’ with luxury goods and other wealth. Read More...

04/30/2019 Court Puts Dycora Nursing Homes in Receivership
On April 18, 2019, the San Joaquin County Superior Court placed three nursing homes operated by Dycora Transitional Health & Living into receivership: Dycora Transitional Health & Living – Community Care – Fresno, Dycora Transitional Health & Living – Stockton, and Dycora Transitional Health & Living – Shafter. Golden Living, a nursing home chain that owns the buildings, sought the receivership order based on representations that the facility operators were insolvent. Dycora leased the facilities from Golden Living in 2017. Read More...

DPH Issues New Guidelines on Audits of Nursing Home Staffing
On April 9, 2019, the Department of Public Health (DPH) released All Facility Letter (AFL) 19-16, which updated its guidance for conducting annual audits of nursing home staffing levels. The not-very-effective audit system has been modified to assess compliance with the new SB 97 staffing requirements.  Hundreds of nursing homes have received waivers from DPH allowing them to staff below the SB 97 requirements.


New Lawsuit Accuses Oakmont Senior Living of Blaming Staff to Cover-Up Its Failures in the Abandonment of Residents During the Tubbs Fire
On April 2, 2019, several former or current employees of Oakmont Senior Living and others filed suit against it in Sonoma County Superior Court, alleging it conspired to cover up its failures and avoid legal responsibility by intentionally “blaming and shaming” them for abandoning residents of Varrenna at Fountaingrove and Villa Capri during the October 2017 Tubbs Fire.

04/19/2019 DPH Takes Down HFCIS Website
In April 2019, the Department of Public Health (DPH) took down its Health Facilities Consumer Information System (HFCIS) website, which gave the public some information on the performance of licensed health facilities, including nursing homes.
03/30/2019 Consumer Guides Now Available in Korean, Russian, Chinese and Armenian
Bet Tzedek has updated its online resources to include Korean, Russian, Chinese and Armenian translations of its IHSS Companion Guide, LPS Mental Health Conservatorship Guide, and Transitions: Taking Care of Your Child with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Brochure.
CLICK HERE to view Bet Tzedek’s online resources.  
03/06/2019 Another Rechnitz Nursing Home Repeatedly Cited for Endangering Residents
In February 2019, the Department of Public Health (DPH) issued ten citations to Lakewood Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility in Downey owned and operated by Shlomo Rechnitz and his affiliates. The citations included six Class A citations and four Class B citations with fines totaling $156,000.
A complaint made by a registered nurse (RN) who worked at the facility appears to have triggered the extraordinary number and scope of the citations. Read more...

March 6th Hearing on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in U.S. Senate
At 7:15 am Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 6, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing, Not Forgotten: Protecting Americans from Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes. The hearing will be live streamed from the Committee’s website. CANHR and advocacy partners have submitted a joint written statement to the Committee for the hearing record.

03/01/2019 DPH Approves Staffing Waivers for Hundreds of Nursing Homes
The Department of Public Health (DPH) has posted lists of the California nursing homes that it has approved to staff at levels below California’s minimum staffing requirements. Nursing homes with approved waivers are allowed to staff below the daily minimum 3.5 direct care service hours per resident requirement or the minimum 2.4 certified nursing assistant (CNA) hours per resident requirement, or both. Read More...

When Hospice Care Goes Wrong
Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist, is shining a spotlight on problems with hospice care in California through an ongoing series of articles inspired by poor end of life care for his parents. Read More... 

02/08/2019 Lakeview Terrace Settles Wrongful Discharge Case for $600,000
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced this week that Lakeview Terrace, an L.A. nursing home, has agreed to pay $600,000 for fines and services to settle a case alleging unlawful and unsafe discharge of residents. Read More....

House Committee Calls Out Fading Antipsychotic Campaign
On January 22, Richard E. Neal, the Chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives, took aim at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ nursing home antipsychotic reduction campaign - calling the recent data on antipsychotic use “extremely disappointing.”  Representative Neal’s letter is remarkable not only for its clear disapproval of the campaign’s lack of progress, but also for its insightful understanding of why the campaign is failing. Read more...

01/22/2019 Solving 25 Common Nursing Home Problems
Justice in Aging has updated its guide to nursing home residents and their representatives for identifying and solving common nursing home problems. The guide, expanded from 20 to 25 problems in this new edition, provides excellent, reader-friendly information that “will give your advocacy teeth.” CLICK HERE to read the guide.
12/12/2018 Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Brookdale for Dumping Nursing Home Residents
A recent lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living alleges residents of Brookdale’s ten California nursing homes are being routinely illegally evicted. The lawsuit states that residents Francis Fleming and Paula Lange were pushed out of Brookdale Camarillo when their lucrative Medicare-covered rehabilitation ended. According to the lawsuit, Brookdale systemically evicts residents by shortcutting legal requirements meant to ensure safe and appropriate discharges. Read more...
12/12/2018 Education Campaign Targets Medicare Providers that Wrongly Deny Coverage on the Basis that Beneficiaries Must Show Improvement
new fact sheet by the Center for Medicare Advocacy on the Jimmo v. Sebilius Settlement Agreement aims to inform Medicare providers and contractors that beneficiaries do not have to improve to qualify for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. Read more...
11/20/2018 New Study: Money Motivates Nursing Home Discharge Decisions
A new study reviewing nursing home occupancy rates (census) and resident discharge rates finds that financial incentives significantly influence how aggressively nursing homes discharge residents. Read more...
11/09/2018 The CMS Campaign is Failing - Nursing Home Chemical Restraint Use Trending Upward Again
Some new data from CMS sadly shows the use of antipsychotic drugs to chemically restrain nursing home residents continues unabated. Twenty percent of California nursing home residents are drugged with antipsychotics in 2018, the same number as in 2015. Read More...
11/07/2018 Senate Report Finds that Nursing Home Residents Died Due to Poor Disaster Oversight
On November 2, 2018, the minority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance issued a report – Sheltering in Danger –  that says flawed responses to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma placed nursing home and assisted living facility residents in dangerous conditions and, in the case of 12 residents in Florida, led to their deaths. Read more...
11/1/2018 CANHR has released a white paper summarizing major problems in long term care in California and offering suggestions as to what needs to be done to improve nursing home and residential care; create more affordable and accessible home and community based services; and hold predators and abusers accountable for elder abuse.
CLICK HERE to download the report.
10/31/2018 What To Know Before You Go
CANHR’s postcard guide to nursing home residents’ rights regarding discharge and eviction is now available for printing and distribution. Read more...
10/15/2018 55 Steps
55 Steps, a movie about the seminal California patients’ rights case, Riese v. St. Mary’s, will be available for streaming on Amazon starting October 16. Riese v. St. Mary’s was argued by Golden Gate University law professor and CANHR friend, Mort Cohen. Read More and watch the trailer
10/05/2018 Hundreds of California Nursing Homes Seek Waivers to Evade Minimum Staffing Requirements
The Department of Public Health (DPH) has posted lists of the California nursing homes that have sought its approval to staff below the minimum staffing requirements the Legislature adopted last year in SB 97. Read More...
10/03/2018 The Nursing Home Industry is Shrinking
A recent New York Times article spotlights the falling occupancy rates (down to just above 80%) at nursing homes throughout the country. Potential residents are increasingly going to alternative settings like assisted living facilities or receiving long term care in their own homes. Read more...
09/21/2018 CNN: What to Do When Assisted Living Tries to Kick Out Residents
A new story from CNN reports on the rising number of evictions from assisted living facilities initiated when a resident allegedly needs more care than the facility staff can provide. The story reviews some of the ways for residents to fight back, particularly by engaging in legal protections to ensure evictions are justified and safe. Read more...
09/14/2018 California Nursing Home Complaints at Unprecedented Levels
Nursing home care is far more objectionable than it has ever been, according to the latest numbers of complaints filed with the Department of Public Health (DPH). Read more
09/07/2018 State Seeks to Revoke Licenses of Oakmont Assisted Living Facilities that Abandoned Residents During a Deadly Fire Storm in Santa Rosa
In a bold action that sent a badly needed message to assisted living operators throughout California, the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) of the California Department of Social Services initiated legal action to revoke the licenses of two assisted living facilities operated by Oakmont Senior Living and ban their administrators from managing, operating, owning or working in California assisted living facilities for the rest of their lives. Read more...
08/12/2018 California’s Top Nursing Home Regulator Owns Interest in Nursing Home Chain
On August 12, 2018, Politico reported that Karen Smith – the Director of the California Department of Public Health – has ownership interest in Brookdale Senior Living, which operates many long-term care facilities in California, including 10 nursing homes that are regulated by Smith’s Department. According to Politico, Smith denied her financial stake in Brookdale has any effect on her decisions. Read more...
07/30/2018 OIG Report: Hospice Rife with Poor Care and Fradulent Practices
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report last month pointing to extensive problems in the Medicare hospice program. Read more...
Download the report
07/09/2018 NY Times Article Exposes Chronic Understaffing in nursing Home
A July 7, 2018 New York Times article – It’s Almost Like a Ghost Town. Most Nursing Homes Overstated Staffing for Years – reports that most nursing homes had fewer nurses and caregiving staff than they had reported to the government for years. Read more...
06/29/2018 Los Angeles Nursing Home to Pay $450,000 Over Allegations it Dumped a Resident at a Homeless Shelter
Avalon Villa allegedly dumped Ronald Anderson, a 51-year-old resident with diabetes, at a homeless shelter without his medicine, with no care arrangements and despite his strong objections.
Read the Los Angeles Times article on the dumping settlement

A Horrific Case of Déjà Vu: Riverside Nursing Home Resident Repeatedly Subjected to Sexual Assaults On December 18 and December 29, 2017, a helpless female resident of Riverside Heights Healthcare Center was sexually assaulted by male residents with well-known histories of sexual abuse at the facility.


An extraordinary May 20 report by the Mercury News examines the October 2017 Wine Country fires from the perspective of body-camera videos captured by Santa Rosa police officers as they sought to warn and rescue elders threatened by the raging fires. Among other heroic actions, the videos show officers rescuing scores of residents of Oakmont of Varenna, a luxury retirement community, with no staff or management in sight to assist in any way. Responding officers and firefighters had to break down resident doors, calm terrified residents, carry some residents down multiple flights of stairs, summon emergency transportation and evacuate residents through intense heat and smoke from nearby fires.
Read the article and view the videos
Read the investigation report of an officer who rescued Varenna residents

05/14/2018 L.A. County Unlawfully Terminated Thousands Of Medi-Cal Recipients, Court Rules
Los Angeles County unlawfully dropped an estimated 22,000 people from California’s Medicaid program, including low-income seniors and disabled residents who couldn’t get vital medications and medical care after their coverage was terminated. Read More...
Read California Healthline's May 14, 2018 article
Read the press release
Read Judge Chalfant's decision
05/02/2018 State Auditor’s Report Tells Tales of Poor Care, Feeble Oversight and Soaring Self-Dealing by Nursing Home Chains  A May 1, 2018 report by California’s State Auditor, Elaine Howle, paints a grim picture of nursing home care in California. Her report describes increasing instances of severe neglect, failing oversight by the Department of Public Health, and surging profits for nursing home chains that engage in self-dealing. Read More...
04/30/2018 A Trojan Horse for Nursing Home Residents: The Insidiously False Promise of the New Minimum Staffing Requirements. Last year, the legislature changed the daily minimum nursing hours that California nursing homes must provide to their residents.  SB 97 was a budget bill developed behind closed doors with no consumer input.
04/23/2018 Has the Campaign to Improve Dementia Care Failed?
new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that the highly touted National Campaign to Improve Dementia Care has not accelerated a pre-existing decrease in the use of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes. In other words, the small decrease in psychotropic drug use in nursing homes to sedate and subdue residents might have occurred anyway, without the tens of thousands of hours that individuals and groups have spent pursuant to the Campaign in the last six years. Read more...

NY Times Spotlights Bad Nursing Home Discharges.
The number of calls and emails to CANHR regarding nursing home discharges has exploded in the last few years. Nursing homes are more and more cutthroat about sending residents packing when their limited Medicare rehab benefit is exhausted. A recent New York Times article reviewed some recent California cases where residents were subjected to inappropriate discharges motivated by money and enabled by lax state enforcement. The Times included a helpful second article about what residents and their representatives can do to avoid bad discharges. Read more...

02/26/2018 Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Sava Nursing Home Chain for Dumping Residents. Sava Senior Care has been sued in Santa Clara County Superior Court for dumping residents to motels or other highly unsafe and inappropriate places. The centerpiece of the lawsuit is allegations that all six California nursing homes in the Sava chain routinely refuse to provide residents with an advance written notice of their discharge and their rights to contest the discharge, despite a 31-year-old law requiring such a notice. 
Read our Press Release. 
02/23/2018 California's New Nursing Home Website Dangerously Misleading 
On January 12, 2018, the California Department of Public Health (DPH) launched a new website – Cal Health Find – that provides highly deceptive information on the performance records of California nursing homes. CANHR strongly advises consumers not to rely on it for selecting a nursing home until DPH makes major changes and corrections to the site. Read more
02/23/2018 Highlights of Human Rights Watch Report "They Want Docile." Read CANHR’s one-page summary of Human Rights Watch’s blistering report on the continued misuse of antipsychotic drugs on nursing home residents.
02/09/2018 Human Rights Watch Report Generates News Stories across the Nation. The new Human Rights Watch report on the misuse of antipsychotic drugs on nursing home residents led to a number of insightful news stories highlighting the chemical restraint crisis in long term care. Among the media outlets that featured stories were: CNNNational Public RadioThe Associated Press, KTVU, and
02/05/2018 Report Finds Widespread Human Rights Violations in Nursing Homes. In its first-ever nursing home report, Human Rights Watch slams the "massive" nonconsensual drugging of residents, enabled by a government enforcement system that coddles violators. The report is a comprehensive overview of the reasons for, and outcomes of, the terrible overuse of psychotropic drugs as chemical restraints to sedate and subdue residents. Read more
01/05/2018 Care Suffers as More Nursing Homes Feed Money Into Corporate Webs. A 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. 
01/03/2018 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
01/03/2018 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. 

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.


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.


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


Scandal-Ridden Brius to Pay up to $6.9 Million for Illegal Kickback Scheme. 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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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.


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

10/24/2017 Where do Patients Go When a Troubled Nursing Home Closes? Often, Nowhere Better
The above title to a compelling new article in the Sacramento Bee sums up the traumatic situation nursing home residents often find themselves in when a neglectful nursing home closes down. All too often, residents are transferred to equally troubled nursing homes, far from their families, friends and everything they hold dear. The October 23, 2017 article examines what became of the residents of Eagle Crest – a Genesis Healthcare owned nursing home with a long history of neglect – after it closed in September. According to the Bee, nearly half of Eagle Crest’s residents were sent to other Genesis facilities, including several who were sent to a nursing home in Willows with a recent history of severe abuse. Instead of blocking the transfers, the Department of Public Health claimed it is powerless to stop closing nursing homes from exposing residents to further neglect and abuse in this manner. 
10/24/2017 Will New Nursing Home Inspection System Bring Same Old Results?
The system California has used to inspect nursing homes for a quarter of a century is about to change. On November 28, 2017, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other state survey agencies throughout the nation will switch to a new nursing home inspection system. The new inspection system is being established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that sets and enforces national standards for nursing homes that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) programs.  
10/10/2017 Lawsuit Takes on Nursing Facility Chain for Illegally Dumping Vulnerable Nursing Facility Residents into Hospitals
AARP and Braunhagey & Borden have filed an important lawsuit to stop a nursing home chain from dumping residents in hospitals. They vow to file more cases until nursing homes stop this abusive and illegal practice.  
9/21/2017 Many Nursing Homes Aren't Prepared For Even Basic Emergencies
In California, 53 percent of nursing facilities have been cited for at least one of two deficiencies related to emergency preparation: training employees what to do in an emergency and carrying out unannounced staff drills; or having a detailed written plan for disasters and emergencies, such as fire, severe weather and missing residents. 
9/18/2017 Deaths and Damage in Hurricane-Affected US Nursing Facilities
The facility outside Miami where eight residents died last week has been cited for 33 deficiencies since 2014 for noncompliance with federal regulations. The sheer number of those citations seems to show that these tags and small associated fines have not deterred the facility from further noncompliance. Meanwhile the industry is lobbying for deregulation and weaker enforcement of such regulations...Harvey and Irma have underscored the importance of protecting people who live in nursing facilities. 
9/12/2017 Sub-Acute Patients can Stay in San Francisco, Administrators Say
In a sharp turnaround, California Pacific Medical Center will keep 28 patients currently at St. Luke’s Hospital who had been told earlier that they would have to leave the hospital by October 31. Now, the St. Luke’s facility will stay open until June 30, 2018, a memo from hospital staff to patients indicates. Moreover, once it closes, the 28 patients with needs like intravenous feeding and ventilator dependency will be able to remain in San Francisco at another California Pacific facility. It’s unclear if that will be the new facility next door or the center’s Davies campus in Duboce Triangle.
9/1/2017 Families and Residents Fight St. Luke’s Sub-Acute Closure in San Francisco - Watch video produced by the Family Council
In San Francisco, family members and residents have united through a family
council to fight plans by California Pacific Medical Center, an affiliate of Sutter
Health, to close its St. Luke’s sub-acute unit and evict all of its residents. St. Luke’s is the only sub-acute facility in San Francisco. Residents – many of whom have lived at St. Luke’s for years – are being threatened with moves to facilities as far away as Sacramento and Los Angeles.
8/30/2017 Inspector General Warns Nursing Home Residents Are at Risk of Abuse
The Inspector General for the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take immediate action to protect nursing home residents from abuse.
8/24/2017 CMS Launches Jimmo Settlement Agreement Webpage
In accordance with a February 1, 2017 court order, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a website with information and resources on the Jimmo Setttlement. 


Brius Healthcare's Insider Transactions
Today, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) released a report describing how Shlomo Rechnitz, the CEO of Brius Healthcare, may be profiting at the expense of residents of his nursing homes by steering millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to a web of companies he created to service his nursing homes. 

8/14/2017 Medi-Cal Sued For Pushing Patients Into Managed Care Despite Judges' Orders
Two health consumer advocacy groups, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and Western Center on Law and Poverty, sued the Department of Health Care Services this week for pushing Medi-Cal beneficiaries into managed care plans.  The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that the department is contradicting doctors' opinions and illegally reversing decisions by administrative law judges that would allow patients with complex medical conditions to remain in fee-for-service Medi-Cal.
8/9/2017 Citation of the Month: Fresno Nursing Home Sets Resident on Sidewalk, Calls 911, and Leaves
A 78 year old female resident was illegally evicted from the facility on 11/7/2016 when the staff called 911 and left her at the sidewalk of her former home when the police and fire departments arrived.
8/1/2017 Court Certifies Nationwide Class in "Observation Status" Case
Judge Michael P. Shea of U.S. District Court in Connecticut, certified a class composed of all Medicare beneficiaries who, since January 1, 2009, have received or will have received "observation services" as an outpatient during a hospitalization. This decision means that Medicare patients could gain the right to appeal placement on "Observations Status" and avoid large medical bills.
7/28/2017 Spousal Impoverishment Expansion ACWDL 17-25 Released
The Department of Health Care Services released ACWDL 17-25, expanding spousal impoverishment provisions for Home and Community-Based services (HCBS). HCBS waiver programs are for seniors or persons with disabilities who want to stay at home or within their community and who are at high risk for nursing home placement. When one spouse in a married couple applies for an approved HCBS program, the spousal impoverishment provisions apply.
7/18/2017 Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Brookdale for Understaffing
Assisted living giant Brookdale has been sued in federal court for promising services that it does not deliver.
Read the press release
Read the complaint
7/17/2017 A new report, Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults, provides an overview of the unique needs and experiences of LGBT elders. The report, by Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders (SAGE), is intended for service providers, advocates, the aging network, and policymakers, and includes policy suggestions as well as best practices for serving a population of LGBT elders. 
Read the Report and see a video and infographics here
7/11/2017 Medi-Cal Recipients Sue California for Failing to Ensure Seniors and People with Disabilities Can Stay in Their Homes
Four non-profit advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against the State of California for refusing to implement a federal law intended to keep seniors and people with disabilities out of institutions while ensuring that their spouses do not become destitute.
Read the Complaint
Read the Press Release
Read the Healthline article here.
6/27/2017 Senate Health Care Bill Imperils Nursing Home Residents and Others Who Rely on Medi-Cal Funded Long-Term Care Services
The looming Senate vote this week on its draconian health care bill could have a devastating impact on hundreds of thousands of Californians who rely on Medi-Cal to pay for nursing home care, in-home care and other types of long-term care services.
6/12/2017 Arbitration About-Face: Feds Side with Corporate Interests Over Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents
In a devastating turn, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to not only terminate its short-lived ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing homes but to endorse their use as a condition to receiving vital care and services.
5/30/2017 NPR Chronicles More Nursing Home Eviction Abuses
As with California, other states are experiencing more nursing home eviction abuses fueled by the disparity between Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates.  NPR story looks at Maryland and Illinois, where inappropriate evictions and hospital dumping of residents are on the rise. An Illinois lawmaker has proposed a $250 daily fine against nursing homes that wrongfully refuse to readmit hospitalized residents. In California, the maximum daily fine is only $50 and the Department of Public Health is loathe to use it - prompting nursing homes to ignore resident bed hold laws.
4/11/2017 CANHR Joins Advocate Statement for Better Nursing Home Oversight
In response to recent reports highlighting abuse and neglect in nursing homes across the U.S., as well as nursing home industry lobbyists calling for less accountability, CANHR, along with the Long Term Care Community Coalition, Center for Medicare Advocacy, and National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, have issued a joint statement highlighting the abundant evidence that more - not less - accountability is needed to ensure the safety and dignity of vulnerable nursing home residents.
Read the joint statement...
3/8/2017 The American Health Care Act - read it and weep
House Republicans recently unveiled their version of “health care for all” in the form of the American Health Care Act – the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act which enabled approximately 22 million Americans to access health care coverage. With no hearings and no budget estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the House Republicans hope to move the bill to the full house by early April without addressing how much the bill will cost and how Americans who are currently covered will be impacted.  
Click here for a copy of the language
Click here for a Section by Section Summary
2/24/2017 CNN Story Reveals Horrific Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
CNN has just released a series of stories about sexual abuse in nursing homes. The main story, “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes,” discusses a number of terrible cases and how the vulnerability of residents is sometimes used as an excuse for gross nursing home negligence and unmotivated enforcement agencies. Another story follows the investigation of a serial rapist in a North Carolina nursing home while the daughter of a rape survivor penned a wrenching essay about her family’s experience. While the stories are difficult to read, sexual abuse in long-term care settings needs to be brought into the light of public discourse.  These cases should not happen, period.
2/9/2017 Legislation Introduced to Strengthen Closure Protections for Nursing Home Residents
On February 1, 2017, Assemblymember Jim Wood introduced AB 275, a bill that would make modest improvements to protections for nursing home residents during a closure.
2/9/2017 Advocacy Resources on the New Federal Nursing Home Regulations
Consumer Voice, Justice in Aging and the Center for Medicare Advocacy have teamed up to publish advocacy materials and presentations on the new federal nursing home regulations. The resources include summaries of key changes, a side-by-side comparison of the revised & previous regulations, issue briefs, a webinar, and links to CMS memos on implementation of the regulations.
2/9/2017 Court Orders Corrective Action Plan in Jimmo Case
A February 1, 2017 decision by the judge overseeing the settlement in Jimmo v. Burwell – the “Improvement Standard” case – ordered the Secretary of Health and Human Services to carry out a Corrective Action Plan to remedy the Department’s noncompliance with the settlement.
12/16/2016 Brookings Institute: Gaming 5-Star Rating System Very Likely
A new report from the Brookings Institute has concluded that a significant number of nursing homes likely fraudulently self-report data to the federal government which then is used to inflate their 5-star rating on the federal Nursing Home Compare website.
12/14/2016 CANHR posts Advance Health Care Directive for Consumers
Every adult should have an advance health care directive (AHCD) to state their health care preferences and to name a substitute health care decision-maker in case there is ever an accident or condition that renders the adult unable to make their own decisions.  California has long-suffered from a lack of free, widely available, high-quality AHCDs.  To remedy this deficit, CANHR has created its own AHCD form, free for download.  The form has innovative features specific to long-term care concerns as well as carefully constructed but simple expressions of end-of-life wishes.  Consumers can also download a detailed set of instructions for guidance in completing the form.
11/28/2016 NPR Reports on Death of San Francisco Nursing Home Resident
On November 27, 2016, NPR Weekend Edition Sunday reported that hospitalized patients unknowingly end up in substandard nursing homes where they suffer bed sores, infections and other types of neglect because hospitals usually fail to warn them about dangerous nursing homes or guide them to better ones.
11/23/2016 New Federal Regulations Take Effect
The first phase of revised federal nursing home regulations took effect on November 28, 2016, implementing numerous changes to the federal standards that have been in place since 1991.
11/23/2016 Nursing Home Closure Plans Reversed in Eureka
The nursing home crisis in Humboldt County triggered by Shlomo Rechnitz’s decision to close three of the five freestanding skilled nursing facilities in the County took a dramatic turn for the better with his November 7th announcement that he had rescinded plans to close two of the three nursing homes.
11/17/2016 Court Order Stops Nursing Home Arbitration Ban
A federal court in Mississippi has granted a request from the American Health Care Association to temporarily stop the federal government from implementing its ban on nursing home pre-dispute arbitration agreements that was set to go into effect on November 28.
10/24/2016 Nursing Homes Go to Court to Stop Residents from Going to Court
On October 17, nursing home industry group American Health Care Association (AHCA) and some individual nursing homes filed suit in Mississippi to stop a proposed federal ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements.
10/24/2016 Protests Escalate Over Eureka Nursing Home Closures
On October 7, 2016, Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center issued a written notice to its residents that it is planning to close in 60 days. Pacific is the first of three Eureka nursing homes that Brius Healthcare is planning to close.
09/30/2016 Department of Public Health Approves Mass Evictions of Eureka Nursing Home Residents
On September 28, 2016, the Department of Public Health (DPH) gave unconditional written approval to Rockport Healthcare Services to implement its revised closure and relocation plans for Seaview, Pacific and Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Centers in Eureka. These three nursing homes contain nearly 60 percent of the nursing home beds in Humboldt County and house about 190 residents. Rockport Healthcare Services is affiliated with Brius Healthcare Services, a nursing home business operated by Shlomo Rechnitz.
09/30/2016 Mixed Grades for New Federal Nursing Home Regulations
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final regulations governing nursing homes on September 28, 2016 that add new requirements and revise hundreds of existing rights and standards. The rule is 713 pages long and affects almost every aspect of life in a nursing home. Some of the changes are very good news for residents, while others are troubling or disappointing.
09/29/2016 Press Release: Feds Ban Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Homes!
In a stunning development to protect nursing home residents, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a new rule prohibiting nursing homes from using pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements with residents. The rule guarantees residents will retain their right to seek justice in a court of law if a nursing home abuses them.
Read our press release...
09/22/2016 California Nursing Home Chain Paying $30 Million to Settle False Claims Allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice
On September 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that North American Health Care (NAHC) and its top officials have agreed to pay $30 million to settle allegations that it sought payment from Medicare and TRICARE for therapy services its residents did not need. NAHC is based in Orange County and most of its 35 skilled nursing facilities are in California.
09/15/2016 State Rejects Plans to Close Three Eureka Nursing Homes 
Three Eureka nursing homes operated by companies affiliated with Shlomo Rechnitz submitted proposed closure plans to the Department of Public Health on August 24, 2016, creating fear that large numbers of residents would be transferred to distant nursing homes outside of Humboldt County. The three nursing homes – Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center and Seaview Rehabilitation & Wellness Center  – contain 258 of the 446 freestanding skilled nursing facility beds in Humboldt County.
08/22/2016 CMS Directs States to Prevent Humiliation of Residents Via Social Media
Responding to widespread abuses of nursing home residents via postings of humiliating photos and videos on social media, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo directing state survey agencies to crack down on the abuse.
08/18/2016 Victory! - Court of Appeal Vindicates Nursing Home Readmission Rights
In a first for California, an appeals court is publishing an opinion explaining why nursing homes are prohibited from abandoning hospitalized residents. 
08/15/2016 Judge Orders Los Angeles Assisted Living Facility to Stop Abuse and Evictions
On August 9, 2016, Judge James Chalfant issued a temporary restraining order to protect the elderly and disabled residents of Brentwood Manor, a 140-bed residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) in Los Angeles.  Attorneys from Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLS), with pro bono legal services from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and assistance from CANHR, helped residents obtain the order requiring the owners and employees of Brentwood Manor to stop their campaign of harassment and illegal evictions, and comply with state laws regarding facility closures.
08/08/2016 CCL Issues First Enhanced Fines for Death of Assisted Living Residents
Community Care Licensing (CCL) has issued its first fines under newly revised Health and Safety Code Section 1569.49, which permits enhanced civil penalties for regulatory violations that lead to the death of a resident.
08/08/2016 Lost in Transition - The Death of Jeannie Newstrom
The North Coast Journal recently ran a heartbreaking story about the tragic death of Jeannie Newstrom, an assisted living resident whose care was horribly neglected when the facility was in the midst of closing following the death of its owner.
07/29/2016 New York Times Calls for Ban on Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements 
On July 25, 2016, the New York Times published a powerful editorial urging the federal government to ban nursing home use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements. According to the Times “corporations of all sorts love forced arbitration because it overwhelmingly tilts in their favor and shields them from liability.
07/15/2016 Department of Public Health Denies Ownership Applications by California’s Largest Nursing Home Operator 
On July 8, 2016, the California Department of Public Health (DPH) denied applications submitted by Shlomo Rechnitz that sought licenses to operate five nursing facilities. Mr. Rechnitz – who has been identified as California’s largest nursing home operator – was acquiring the nursing homes from Windsor, another nursing home chain headquartered in California. The applications had been pending since February 2015.
06/16/2016 Forced Exodus: How Avalon Care Center Abandoned Its Promises and Cleared Out Its Residents
Avalon Care Center, a nursing home in Modesto, was recently assessed a whopping 29 citations by the State Department of Public Health (DPH) for engaging in a reprehensible and systematic illegal eviction program to force out undesirable “long-term” residents.
05/17/2016 Nursing Home Chain Ownership Changes are Linked to Poor Quality of Care A fascinating research article published in the May issue of Health Affairs reports that nursing homes that are frequently bought and sold by nursing home chains are plagued by low quality. Researchers from several distinguished universities came to this not too surprising conclusion after tracking nursing home transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, throughout the nation between 1993 and 2010. The analyses and findings are described as the first comprehensive picture of how chain involvement in the nursing home sector has evolved.
05/09/2016 Illegal Nursing Home Evictions Not Just a California Problem
A recent story from the Associated Press highlights the national scope of illegal nursing home evictions, typically centered on residents who are considered “difficult” or residents with families who demand good care. Nursing homes around the country take federal government money and promise to take care of residents with “all services necessary” but frequently renege on that promise and ignore rules to protect residents from unsafe discharges.
Read the Story
05/04/2016 OUTRAGE: For-Profit Nursing Home Corporations Prepare to Raid Public Health Funding
AB 2104, a bill authored by Assemblyman Matthew Dababneh (D-Encino) passed the Assembly Health Committee by a vote of 18-0 last week. What’s remarkable about this vote is that AB 2104 would open up two very important public and non-profit health financing mechanisms to for-profit nursing home corporations. 
Read CANHR's Press Release
04/05/2016 Sacramento Bee Reports Shifting Population in California Nursing Homes Creates ‘Dangerous Mix'
A new investigation and report by the Sacramento Bee describes dangerous conditions inside California nursing homes related to changing admission practices at many nursing homes. Nursing homes are increasingly admitting younger persons with chronic or mental illnesses, those suffering from addictions and individuals who lack housing. The Bee reports that the population of California nursing home residents under age 65 grew by nearly 40 percent over the last 20 years, while the number over 65 shrank by 11 percent. The “quality of care appears to be a casualty in the changing patient mix,” the Bee found because many nursing homes are not prepared to meet the divergent needs of residents.
Read the Sacramento Bee's Editorial
03/24/2016 Support SB 938 to Ensure Appropriate Treatment for Conservatees with Dementia
SB 938 (Jackson) is a CANHR-sponsored bill to amend Probate Code Section 2356.5. Section 2356.5 permits conservators to seek special powers to authorize the involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs to conservatives with dementia. SB 938 requires greater detail from a conservatee’s treating health care provider to demonstrate that a proposed psychotropic drug prescription is appropriate and the least intrusive treatment alternative before a court can approve the use of psychotropic drugs for a conservatee with dementia. The goal of the bill is to ensure good care for people with dementia who are conserved.
Click here to read CANHR's facts sheet and sample SB 938 support letter
Please support SB 938 today!
3/17/2016 Trial Begins in Whistleblower Lawsuit Against DPH on Charges State Investigator was Forced to Close Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Investigations
On March 15, a jury in San Diego began hearing a major whistleblowing case in which a nurse investigator for the Department of Public Health reports supervisors forced her to close investigations of abuse and of neglect leading to the death of nursing home residents. In her opening testimony, the whistleblower, Rose Espiritu, testified she was illegally pressured to close complaint cases without proper investigations. CANHR has had longstanding concerns about the mismanagement of the San Diego District office of the Department of Public Health, which is the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.
Watch and read the story by KGTV, ABC 10 News in San Diego
03/07/2016 Complaint Reports against RCFEs Now Available Online
Checking on the regulatory performance of assisted living facilities continues to improve. Community Care Licensing, the division of the Department of Social Services (DSS) that inspects assisted living facilities and responds to complaints, has now uploaded all Complaint Reports from January 2016 forward onto its Facility Search website. Current and prospective residents and their family members should greatly benefit from this new information about facility performance. Unfortunately, to review complaints made prior to January 2016, consumers will still have to travel to remote DSS regional offices to review a facility's paper file. Click here to check on a facility's regulatory history.
03/03/2016 Medicare Beneficiaries Still Denied Coverage due to Illegal Use of Improvement Standard
On March 1, 2016 the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Vermont Legal Aid filed a Motion to require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to enforce the settlement of the landmark Medicare case, Jimmo v. Sebelius. Jimmo, brought on behalf of a nationwide class of Medicare beneficiaries who were denied coverage and access to care because they did not show sufficient potential for “improvement,” was settled in 2012. Despite the settlement, CMS has continued to deny coverage and care based on the improvement standard.
Click here for more information.
02/22/2016 RCFE Complaints Up 25% in 2015
The Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division (CCL) has released data showing the number of complaints against Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) have risen by 25% in the last two years. Statewide, the number of complaints filed against RCFEs was 3,245 in 2013 and 3,279 in 2014 but jumped much higher in 2015 to 4,054. A representative of CCL stated the number of complaints is at an all-time high.
Click here to see the CCL complaint data.
02/05/2016 Wage Theft Allegations Grow Against Bay Area Elder Care Homes
Florinda Yambao, the owner of several residential elder care homes around Contra Costa County, may not look like a typical career criminal, but DA investigators say she's defrauded her employees out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in owed pay, and committed tax fraud to cover her tracks.
Read the Story...
02/04/2016 CANHR Wins 2015 Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Award
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) is among four nonprofit programs that has been awarded the 2015 Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Legacy Award. Each year, the Gilbert Foundation awards $20,000 each to programs that address the needs of Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers and their care recipients. This year, CANHR received the award for our efforts in the Campaign to End the Inappropriate Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Nursing Homes.
02/04/2016 California Court Prohibits Nursing Home Decisionmaking for Unrepresented Residents Due to Lack of Notice
The final judgment in CANHR v. Chapman has been issued, ending the practice of nursing homes making decisions – including whether to give mind-altering drugs and withdraw life-sustaining treatment - on behalf of “unrepresented” residents.
01/26/2016 Center for Medicare Advocacy Issues Alert on Illegal Medicare “Discharges” by Skilled Nursing Facilities
On January 13, 2016, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) published a terrific new alert on the discharge rights of skilled nursing facility residents. The alert warns against the increasingly common practice of skilled nursing facilities forcing out residents after Medicare-funded stays by misinforming them about Medicare decisions and their right to stay in the facilities. These illegal evictions have drawn national media attention because they trample on both Medicare and discharge rights of nursing home residents. The CMA alert puts it this way:  “The truth is that when a SNF tells a beneficiary that he or she is “discharged,” (1) at that point, Medicare has not yet made any determination about coverage and (2) a resident cannot be evicted solely because Medicare will not pay for the stay.”
01/25/2016 State Tells Illegally Evicted Nursing Home Residents To Get Lost
The State Health and Human Services Agency has issued a depressing first response to CANHR’s lawsuit to compel the state to comply with federal law and help illegally evicted nursing home residents.
01/14/2016 Nursing Home Industry and Legislature Team Up to Defeat AB 927 (McCarty)
AB 927 – The Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure Act of 2016 – died after its author, Assembly Member McCarty, pulled it on January 12, 2016 just prior to a scheduled hearing before the Assembly Health Committee.
01/6/2016 2016 Rates and Cost of Living Adjustments
Unfortunately, Social Security recipients will not be receiving a cost of living adjustment for 2016, and Medicare premiums for some individuals will be increasing. Medi-Cal resource rates and SSI rates will remain the same.
See CANHR’s 2016 Rate Sheet
01/6/2016 Legislature Ends Effort to Cut RCFE Fines for Killing Residents
AB 1467 (Bloom), which proposed to cut fines for smaller RCFEs that directly cause the death of a resident form $15,000 to $5,000, is no longer active and will be officially dead on January 16. We are pleased that the legislature is rejecting the sliding-scale approach to justice in AB 1467. Thanks to all the individuals and organizations that opposed the bill.
Read CANHR’s Opposition Alert
Read CANHR’s Opposition Letter
12/29/2015 AB 927 to be Heard in Assembly Health Committee on January 12
On January 12, 2016, the Assembly Health Committee will hear AB 927 (McCarty), an important bill to help prevent nursing home owners with poor track records from acquiring nursing homes in California. CANHR and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office are co-sponsoring the bill, which responds to a series of articles by the Sacramento Bee on the very troubling performance of some of California’s nursing home chains. Many California nursing home residents are in grave danger because they live in facilities owned by operators who routinely neglect their needs.
Please help AB 927 pass by sending a support letter to the Assembly Health Committee.
Read CANHR’s Alert...
12/29/2015 Nursing Home Workers Fired over Posting Abusive Videos of the Elderly
In a disturbing national trend, nursing home workers have been caught posting degrading and humiliating photos of elderly nursing home residents on social media networks such as Snapchat. The California Attorney General charged one of the LifeHOUSE employees with misdemeanor counts of elder abuse and invasion of privacy in December 2015.
Read the story...
11/9/2015 CANHR Sues State to Stop Illegal Dumping of Nursing Home Residents
CANHR and three nursing home residents have filed a lawsuit against California Secretary of Health and Human Services, Diana Dooley, charging that the State is willfully violating federal laws that protect against dumping nursing home residents into hospitals.
11/4/2015 Justice Denied - NY Times Reviews Growing Number of Arbitration Horror Stories
In “Beware the Fine Print,” a searing new three-part series on the ubiquity of mandatory arbitration agreements in consumer contracts, the New York Times examined “how clauses buried in tens of millions of contracts have deprived Americans of one of their most fundamental constitutional rights: their day in court.”
10/30/2015 War on Poor Elders: House Committee looking at reducing Medicaid home equity caps and Community Spouse Income
As if long term care consumers aren’t punished enough, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is now considering capping the Home equity limits back to the minimum ($500,000 plus inflation). No increases will be permitted by the states regardless of the property values in that state. 
10/28/2015 Ombudsman/Attorney Partnership Leads to Better-Late-Than-Never DPH Enforcement
In an extraordinary success for a unique “public-private partnership” of Ombudsman and attorneys, a couple of fruitless Department of Public Health (DPH) nursing home complaints were recently turned into high-level citations and fines.
10/8/2015 Governor Brown Signs Residential Care Ownership Suitability Law
Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 601 (Eggman) into law on Thursday. This bill establishes specific suitability requirements and requires applicants who are seeking a license to run an assisted living/residential care facilities for the elderly to submit information on ownership and prior ownership of any type of facility, in any state, including a history of compliance with applicable laws.
10/6/2015 Governor Brown Signs End of Life Options
On October 5, 2015, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation - AB 15, the End of Life Options - allowing terminally ill patients to obtain lethal medications to end their lives when they choose.



United States Obtains $255,000 Settlement of Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Continuing Care Retirement Community in Lincolnshire, Illinois
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement that resolves allegations that the owners and managers of a continuing care retirement community known as Sedgebrook violated the Fair Housing Act by instituting policies and maintaining practices that discriminated against residents with disabilities at the facility, which is located in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
10/05/2015 Can nursing homes get 300,000 dementia patients off deadly antipsychotics?
In another feature to its excellent reporting on failures in nursing home care, Al Jazeera's "America Tonight" program examined more problematic elements of drugging dementia last week. The latest story focuses on one California woman's experience of being drugged into a near "vegetative state" in a nursing home and her ultimate rebound when her family demanded the drugs be discontinued. Also featured are Helen Kales, author of a study connecting antipsychotics with death for elderly people with dementia, Thomas Hamilton, the director of the nursing home division of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Tony Chicotel, CANHR Staff Attorney.
Click here to read the story and watch part of the television feature...
9/30/2015 Nursing Homes Reap Billion Dollar Windfall by Exploiting Medicare Billing System for Therapy
On September 30, 2015, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services issued a new report on wasteful payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for therapy services. The report, The Medicare Payment System for Skilled Nursing Facilities Needs to be Reevaluated, stated that Medicare payments for therapy greatly exceed SNF’s costs for therapy.
9/17/2015 Medi-Cal Recovery bill now a 2-year bill!
SB 33 (Hernandez) would limit Medi-Cal recovery for those who are 55+ years of age to only what is required by federal law, and eliminate optional recovery for other services; eliminate recovery on surviving spouses’ estates; allow hardship exemptions for homesteads of modest value; and limit the amount of interest the state can charge.
8/28/2015 Legislative Alert August 28th, 2015 - ACT NOW! We Need Your Support!
Thanks to your advocacy, two priority CANHR bills passed out of their respective Appropriations Committees and are now on their way to the Governor's desk:
8/27/2015 Nursing Home Industry Tries to Rig Federal Regulations
Want to win an iPad? You have a chance if you work for a nursing home that submits 10 or more comments to CMS on the proposed rule on Requirements of Participation for nursing homes. The American Health Care Association (AHCA), the largest lobby group for nursing home operators, is offering this reward to persuade its members to submit thousands of comments to the federal government. By, in essence, stuffing the ballot box, AHCA is trying to pressure CMS to weaken and stall the proposed regulations.
8/24/2015 Department of Public Health Takes “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” Approach to Nursing Home Abuse
In a disgraceful last minute effort to kill AB 348 (Brown) – a CANHR sponsored bill that would have set timelines for investigations of abuse and neglect cases reported by nursing homes – the Department of Public Health continued a long tradition of siding with perpetrators of abuse against their victims by taking an official position opposing the bill. As a result, this critical bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Read CANHR's press release...
8/24/2015 Salinas RCFE Served with Suspension Order
Colonial Manor, a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) in Salinas, California, has been served with a temporary suspension order by the Department of Social Services – the first move in terminating the facility’s license.
8/14/2015 CCL Issues Illegal "Guidelines" for Video Surveillance in RCFEs
In defiance of numerous and grave concerns regarding privacy, resident rights and the legality of its process, the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services (CCL) issued underground regulations in the guise of “guidelines” for the use of video surveillance in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) and Adult Community Care Facilities on August 7, 2015.
Click here to read the Guidelines (pages 20-20.10)
Click here to read CANHR’s comments on a previous version of the Guidelines
8/4/2015 AB 1085 Signed Into Law - Ensures the Right of All Adults to Visit with Friends and Family
Last month, the governor signed AB 1085 (Gatto) a bill in which the Legislature declared that "every adult in this state has the right to visit with, and receive mail and telephone or electronic communication from, whomever he or she so chooses, unless a court has specifically ordered otherwise."
7/23/2015 CMS Proposes Changes to the Nursing Home Requirements of Participation
On July 16, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed regulations in the Federal Register to revise the federal Requirements of Participation for nursing homes.
7/23/2015 AB 348 (Brown) Moves Forward with Strong Support
On July 15, 2015, the Senate Health Committee unanimously passed AB 348 (Brown), a CANHR sponsored bill that would set timelines for complaint investigations.
7/14/2015 The Shut Out: Why have Humboldt County's skilled nursing facilities stopped accepting patients
According to a statement from St. Joseph's Hospital, the organization that owns five of the six local skilled nursing facilities recently informed the hospital that the facilities would no longer accept its patients. The company also severed its contract with the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), leaving the program with nowhere in-county to place clients with needs too great to remain at home.
7/1/2015 Assisted Living Inspection Reports Now Available On-Line
Checking on the regulatory performance of assisted living facilities just got a lot easier. Community Care Licensing, the division of the Department of Social Services (DSS) that inspects assisted living facilities and responds to complaints, is now posting its facility evaluation reports on its Care Facility Search website. While it appears that only recent reports (since 4/15/2015) are available, current and prospective residents and their family members should greatly benefit from this new information about facility performance. Prior to the posting of reports, people had to travel to remote DSS regional offices to review a facility's paper file.
Click here to check on a facility's regulatory history...
7/1/2015 Legislature Sets Complaint Investigation Deadlines for Nursing Homes
On June 24, 2015, the Governor signed SB 75, a budget bill that includes new investigation timelines for nursing home complaint investigations. Section 9 of the bill amends Health and Safety Code §1420 to phase in complaint completion timelines beginning on July 1, 2016.
6/25/2015 CANHR v. Chapman: Court Order Protects Nursing Home Residents
The Alameda County Superior Court has ruled nursing homes that give mind-altering drugs and withdraw life-sustaining treatment to “unrepresented” residents are violating the state constitution and must stop immediately.
6/22/2015 Consent Order Provides Guidance on CCRC Dining Room and Mobility Device Policies
A recent consent order between the U.S. Department of Justice and a Virginia continuing care retirement community (CCRC) resolved allegations that the CCRC violated the Fair Housing Act by instituting policies that discriminated against residents, and provides guidance on policies and practices regarding dining rooms and mobility devices.
6/18/2015 Audit Report Slams California's Oversight of Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans
According to a scathing report by the California State Auditor, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is doing a poor job of monitoring California's Medi-Cal managed care plans. The report found that DHCS did not verify health plan data and could not determine whether there were adequate provider networks. The report also found that thousands of calls from Medi-Cal beneficiaries seeking assistance through through the DHCS' ombudsman office went unanswered. Specifically, an average of 12,500 calls per month went unanswered from between February 2014 and January 2015.
Read More…
6/15/2015 California’s largest nursing home owner under fire from government regulators
On June 14, 2015, the Sacramento Bee published findings of its investigation of California’s largest nursing home operator, Shlomo Rechnitz. The remarkable articles and video describe the appalling conditions at some of his nursing homes and the deaths and suffering of residents due to neglect.
Read More…
6/5/2015 Bill to Limit Efforts to Recoup Medi-Cal Costs from Patients' Estates Passes Unanimously in California Senate
A bill authored by State Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) to limit California's practice of suing survivors and filing liens against the homes of poor families to recoup Medi-Cal costs is advancing through the California legislature. The California Senate voted 33 to 0 to approve SB 33, and it now goes onto the California Assembly.
Click here for more information about SB 33...
Read More…
5/19/2015 Feds Strike a Blow for Freedom: $380K Fine for Locking Up Nursing Home Resident
A Maryland nursing home has been fined $380,750 for placing a resident in a locked unit and prohibiting one of her daughters from visiting. The fine, recently upheld by a federal appeals board, is noteworthy for two reasons: one, it involves a large, six-figure fine and two, locking up nursing home residents and restricting their visitation happens all of the time.
5/18/2015 L.A. County slow to probe nursing home complaints, state statistics show
Statistics released this week on investigations of complaints of abuse, neglect and poor conditions at California nursing homes and other health facilities show Los Angeles County lagging behind other areas of the state.
4/28/2015 As Nursing Homes Chase Lucrative Patients, Quality of Care Is Said to Lag
On April 14, 2015, the New York Times reported that due to nursing homes’ cutthroat race for lucrative Medicare dollars, many persons who need long term care funded by Medi-Cal are being left behind. The article quotes Tony Chicotel, CANHR’s staff attorney, describing how the nursing home “focus on Medicare, Medicare, Medicare has pushed out people in the custodial care world” and has led to an epidemic of resident evictions when their Medicare coverage ends.
4/13/2015 Justice in Aging Issues Policy Brief on How California's Assisted Living System Falls Short in Addressing Residents' Health Care Needs
Justice in Aging has issued the third in a series of policy briefs exploring how California's current assisted living system addresses residents' health care needs, and how the system could be modified to better serve residents. This policy issue brief, "The Problem: Can You Spot the Legal Violations in this Job Announcement?", discusses the lack of quality of care standards regarding the administration of medication.
Click here to read the policy issue brief
4/1/2015 Department of Public Health Grilled by Legislators at Hearing on Nursing Home Oversight
On March 24, the Assembly Committee on Health and the Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care held a three-hour oversight hearing on nursing home oversight by the Department of Public Health. The hearing posed the question: What progress is being made to improve nursing home oversight in California? Pat McGinnis, CANHR’s Executive Director, testified that no progress has been made and that nursing home oversight today is as bad as it has ever been due to profound leadership failures at the Department.
3/27/2015 Justice in Aging Issues Policy Brief on Community Living and Access to Health-Related Services
Justice in Aging has issued the second in a series of policy briefs exploring how California's current assisted living system addresses residents' health care needs, and how the system could be modified to better serve residents. This policy issue brief, "The Problem:
A False Choice Between Community Living and Access to Health-Related Services," discusses residents’ expectations for health and social services, and recommends that California reject the false choice between community living and access to health-related services by incorporating appropriate health care expertise into the assisted living model.
Click here to read the policy issue brief
3/25/2015 On Medi-Cal Now, Lose Your House Later?
KQED reports: Many on Medi-Cal learning that the state can file a claim against their estate after they die.
Read the KQED story
Listen to the PBS Newshour Report
SB33 is the bill that would reform the Estate Recovery program. Click here to find out more.
3/24/2015 VA Proposed Regulations Threaten Benefits for Wartime Veterans and their Spouses
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has released proposed regulations that would make it even more difficult for veterans and their spouses to access VA Aid and Attendance benefits. In response to a GAO report decrying the predators that take advantage of veterans and sell annuities - the VA, instead of proposing any rules to outlaw or punish these predators, chose to punish the veterans.
Read More
3/20/2015 Legislators to Hold Yet Another Oversight Hearing on DPH
On Tuesday, March 24, state lawmakers will be grilling Department of Public Health officials once again on their failures to investigate nursing home complaints and to keep nursing home residents safe from harm. The hearing will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the State Capitol and is being conducted jointly by the Assembly Committee on Health and the Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care.
Read More
3/13/2015 Justice in Aging Issues Policy Brief on the Fiction of "Assistance with Self-Administration" of Medications in RCFEs
Justice in Aging has issued the first in a series of policy briefs exploring how California's current assisted living system addresses residents' health care needs, and how the system could be modified to better serve residents. This policy issue brief, "The Problem: Pretending that Medication Is Always 'Self-Administered'”, explores the need to legitimate and regulate the practice of medication administration to protect residents, assisted living communities, and staff.
Click here to read the policy issue brief
3/10/2015 CANHR Releases "Your Right to Leave": a Guide for Battling Forced Placement in Long-Term Care Facilities
CANHR has posted a new free guide for long-term care consumers, "Your Right to Leave" a guide to the rights of long-term care consumers to be free from false imprisonment. Residents are often illegally held in nursing homes or assisted living facilities against their will despite no judicial decision or legal process. "Your Right to Leave" explains how and why this happens but more importantly, details residents' rights to be free from forced placement and gives guidance on remedies. "Your Right to Leave" is the second guide in a CANHR series, following "Your Right to Visit" about visitation issues in long-term care facilities and hospitals.
3/9/2015 Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Files Criminal Charges Against Operators of Valley Springs Manor
Attorney General Kamala Harris today announced that Valley Springs Manor owner Herminigilda Noveda Manuel and administrator Edgar Babael were charged on fourteen felony counts of elder abuse for abandoning the residents of their facility.
Click here to read the story and view the complaint...
3/3/2015 New GAO Report Finds Widespread Antipsychotics Misuse in Home and Community Based Settings
A GAO report released this week has found nationwide overuse of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia in non-nursing home settings. The GAO found that 1 in 7 Medicare beneficiaries with dementia (about 170,000 people overall) outside of a nursing home are given antipsychotics.
Click here to read CANHR's analysis of the report...
2/19/2015 Changes to CMS 5-star Rating System a Welcome Change
CANHR releases two press statements on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ changes to Nursing Home Compare. These are a welcome start to CMS’s plans to improve the accuracy of public information that families use to evaluate nursing homes. The changes are the first among several steps planned to increase the reliability of ratings that have often shown wide discrepancies – between residents’ experiences and state inspection results on one hand, and nursing homes’ self-reported information about their nurse staffing levels and performance on federal quality measurements on the other. Read CANHR's comments here:
Read "Why We Need Payroll Data"...
Read CANHR's Statement on CMS Nursing Home Compare Changes...
2/19/2015 Victory for Center for Investigative Reporting: Public Disclosure of Citations issued to Facilities for Developmentally Disabled
In a major victory for the Center for Investigative Reporting and for advocates and the public, California's Supreme Court reversed an appellate court ruling that permitted the Department of Public Health to heavily redact citations issued to state owned long term care facilities for the Developmentally Disabled.
2/12/2015 Second Top Boss Leaves California Public Health Department
The Sacramento Bee reports Kathleen Billingsley has announced she is resigning her position as second-in-command at the California Department of Public Health. CANHR has been calling for her to step down due to the extreme dysfunction within the Licensing & Certification Division during her tenure and the Department’s indifference to the plight of nursing home residents who have suffered abuse or neglect. CANHR calls on Governor Brown to swiftly appoint a new leadership team at the Department of Public Health. The new leaders should have the qualifications, experience and will to build the Licensing & Certification Division into a premier consumer protection agency that will protect the interests of nursing home residents and patients of other health facilities throughout California.
1/29/2015 How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?
A new study from the Center for Retirement Research “How does aging affect financial decision making?” The study followed a group of seniors of a period of time and measured their financial literacy. They also tracked the senior’s self-assessment on their confidence of their ability to make decisions.  The study’s finding was that the seniors financial literacy declined by about one percent per year while their confidence in their decision making ability remained relatively constant.  This, the study concluded, raises serious concerns over seniors retaining primary responsibility for managing their finances.  
Click here to read the study...
1/27/2015 CMS Issues Guidance on CPR in Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised its guidance to surveyors to clarify a nursing home’s obligation to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The revised guidance states that CPR certified staff must be available at all times. Staff must maintain current CPR certification through a CPR provider whose training includes hands-on practice and in-person skills assessment; online-only certification is not acceptable. Prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS), nursing homes must provide basic life support, including initiation of CPR, to a resident who experiences cardiac arrest in accordance with that resident’s advance directives or in the absence of advance directives or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.
Click here for more information...
1/27/2015 Reporting Complaints or Concerns regarding Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) The Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division (CCL) has launched a Centralized Complaint Unit. To file a complaint regarding an RCFE, community care or child care facility, call 1-844-LET-US-NO [1-844-5388766] or click here to find your local office. Pursuant to SB 895, a CANHR-sponsored bill that was part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014, CCL has created a poster that RCFEs are required to display in their main entryway. The poster contains information on the appropriate reporting agency in case of a complaint or emergency.
Click here for more information...
1/23/2015 Napa Dementia Care Symposium
On March 13, CANHR will co-host its 12th Dementia Care Symposium in Napa. The event will feature Dr. Jonathan Evans, former President of the American Medical Directors Association, and Tena Alonzo, co-director of palliative care for advanced dementia at the Beatitudes in Phoenix, AZ. Both speakers will discuss dementia care that is based on comfort and avoids psychotropic drugs.
Click here more information and how to register
1/21/2015 Governor Seeks Hundreds of New Positions for Department of Public Health
Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget for FY 2015-16 would add more than $30 million and about 260 positions for the Licensing & Certification Division of the California Department of Public Health and its subcontract with Los Angeles County.
Read More..
1/5/2015 Omnicare Facing New Federal Charges Involving Drugging of Nursing Home Residents
On December 22, 2014, the U.S. Justice Department filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against Omnicare for soliciting and receiving tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks from Abbot Laboratories, the manufacturer of Depakote, between 1998 and 2008. Omnicare is the nation’s largest long term care pharmacy and supplier of pharmacy consulting services to nursing homes.
12/12/2014 NPR Hits on Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes
In a three-part series, NPR recently took on the persistent problem of antipsychotics in nursing homes. Part 1 reviewed some very bad cases of antipsychotic misuse in California nursing homes. Part 2 criticized the federal government's effort to enforce nursing home rules regarding antipsychotic misuse and Part 3 focused on the good dementia care practices at Ecumen nursing homes in Minnesota that have led to dramatic decreases in antipsychotic usage. The NPR series does a great job of telling the story of antipsychotics in nursing homes: a frightening tale of chemical restraints from overmatched and frustrated nursing home staff, fostered by governmental failures, that is only now being rescued by the humane, comfort-centered approaches to care finally getting their due.
12/4/2014 Resignation of Department of Public Health Director Provides Opportunity for New Leadership at Troubled Agency
The December 3, 2014 announcement by Dr. Ron Chapman that he is resigning his position as Director of the California Department of Public Health is welcome news to California nursing home residents. Dr. Chapman has shown little interest in the plight of nursing home residents who have increasingly been exposed to neglect and abuse under his watch. New leadership at the Department of Public Health is urgently needed and long overdue.
11/18/2014 Center for Public Integrity Finds Widespread Inflation of Nursing Home Staffing Levels
In November 2014, The Center for Public Integrity published a three-part series on nursing home staffing, HUD financing of substandard nursing homes and inferior care provided to minorities.
11/13/2014 Unmasked: How California’s Largest Nursing Home Chains Perform
The Sacramento Bee published a groundbreaking series of articles this week on who owns California nursing homes and why it matters to people who need nursing home care. The sweeping three-part series by Marjie Lundstrom and Phillip Reese identifies and examines the performance of California’s 25 largest nursing home chains, exposes some of the people behind them and questions why they are so poorly regulated.
11/10/2014 LA County Health Department Allegedly Falsified Nursing Home Probe Records
Kaiser Health News reports that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health allegedly falsified the dates it received complaints about nursing homes in order to circumvent California law and a 2006 court order CANHR obtained against the Department directing it to follow the law. California law requires the Department of Public Health to begin onsite investigations within 10 working days of receiving a complaint about a nursing home, or within 24 hours if the allegation involves the imminent threat of death or serious harm.
10/31/2014 State Auditor Finds the Department of Public Health is Placing Nursing Home Residents at Risk
On October 30, 2014, the California State Auditor released a report condemning the Department of Public Health’s systemic mismanagement of nursing home complaint investigations. Assembly Member Mariko Yamada and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee sought the investigation by the State Auditor earlier this year after embarrassing public reports that DPH often took years to complete investigations of severe abuse and neglect in nursing homes. CANHR called for the state audit in testimony at a legislative oversight committee on January 21, 2014.
10/31/2014 LA County Officials Reduce Penalties in 3 Nursing Home Deaths
On October 27, 2014, Kaiser Health News reported that Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials allegedly downgraded three citations involving nursing home residents who died from neglect.
10/9/2014 Assisted Living: Getting to Know the Regulatory System Webinar
Announcing a webinar on October 22 at 11:00 a.m. PST.
Part of the National Senior Citizens Law Center's, "Making up for Lost Time: Addressing Problems In California’s Assisted Living System",will give an inside look at the California RCFE regulatory system and provide an overview of other state assisted living regulatory systems.
NSCLC will host Pam Dickfoss, Community Care Licensing Division Deputy Director at the California Department of Social Services and Ronald Melusky, President Elect at the National Association for Regulatory Administration.
Click here for more information and to register..
10/1/2014 KCET’s “Overmedicated and Misinformed” Explores Psych Drug Misuse and Movement for Better Care
KCET Los Angeles has just released an eight minute segment on the misuse of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes. CANHR Advocate Mike Connors is featured and explains that drug misuse is elder abuse but has not been treated as such by the Department of Public Health. The segment is focused on the sad but ultimately hopeful story of Aleah Davis, a nursing home resident who was senselessly and illegally drugged while at Country Villa Seal Beach. With the help of attorney Matt Borden, Aleah was able to win a lawsuit to vindicate her rights to be free from chemical restraints.
Click here to watch the segment...
9/29/2014 Press Release: RCFE Reform Act of 2014 Bills Signed into Law!
As of Sunday, September 28, the Governor has signed a total of ten (10) bills that were part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014. The RCFE Reform Act of 2014 was introduced in response to several scathing investigative reports about the failures in oversight and enforcement regarding California’s Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, and the scandal at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley, where 19 elderly residents were abandoned by the care home’s owner/licensee. The reform bills focused on improving RCFE care, empowering residents, and providing DSS with some new tools to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.
Read the full press release..
Read CANHR's statement...
9/26/2014 SB 1124 (Hernandez) Vetoed by the GovernorCANHR is more than saddened that Governor Brown decided to veto SB 1124 (Hernandez) - a bill that would have offered great relief for many Medi-Cal beneficiaries who worry about losing their family homes.
Read CANHR's statement on the veto...
Read the Governor's veto message...
9/22/2014 CMS New Antipsychotic Reduction Goals Criticized by Resident AdvocatesOn Friday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its new goals for reducing antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. Touting the 15% reduction in antipsychotic use in nursing homes since 2011, CMS wants antipsychotic use to decline by 30% from 2011 levels by the end of 2016.
9/19/2014 Auditor Blasts Los Angeles County DPH on Nursing Home Complaint Investigation Practices
On August 27, 2014, the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller released his latest findings on nursing home complaint investigations by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. His office found very serious problems with the quality of investigations. For example, in 40 percent of the complaint cases examined – including five cases involving the deaths of nursing home residents – DPH managers downgraded or deleted the surveyors’ recommended deficiencies and citations, usually without any documentation.
8/29/2014 President Obama Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements
In another blow to mandatory arbitration, the President recently issued an executive order prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration agreements between employers and employees in federal contracts worth $1 million or more. Arguing that employees deserve their "day in court," the order is a clear rejection of the notion that pre-dispute arbitration is a fair system for resolving disagreements. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and McKnight's Long-Term Care News both wrote that the White House's action should be a springboard into ending mandatory arbitration in nursing home contracts.
Read Obama's executive order..
8/29/2014 Medicare’s Flawed Rating System for Nursing Homes
A recent New York Times investigative report examined the Medicare five-star rating system for nursing homes, and concluded that it portrays many of them as much better than they really are and may mask serious and potentially dangerous deficiencies. The report identified major defects in the rating system, including over reliance on self-reporting by nursing homes and failure to include negative information gathered from states. The New York Times analysis of the data showed that even nursing homes with a history of poor care can “game” the system and obtain high ratings.
Read the full article...
Read a related op-ed...
8/18/2014 For the Department of Social Services, The More Things Change . . .
August 14 was a milestone day in the year-long effort to reform Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) in California. After months of grassroots energizing, amendments, and endless committee debate, the bulk of RCFE Reform Act bills faced their final committee votes. After the votes were taken and the dust had cleared, the bills aimed at the facilities had all moved forward. The bills aimed at better state oversight had all died. This was not a coincidence.
8/13/2014 PRESS RELEASE: Medi-Cal Recovery Reform in Peril!
Expensive Health Care Loans for Low Income Citizens

SB 1124, authored by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Los Angeles), will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week. Passed by the Senate Health and Appropriations Committees, and passed by the Assembly Health Committee, our legislators recognize that the current system is not only unfair and inequitable, but clearly discriminates against low-income elders.
Read the Press Release...
8/13/2014 Nursing Home Citation Report 2013
Just published, a listing of Nursing Home Citations in California, arranged by county, with summaries & fines issued. In an effort to provide concise yet meaningful information about fines (“citations”) received by California’s ~1,235 nursing homes, CANHR has summarized the citations issued by the Licensing and Certification Division of the Department of Public Health to nursing homes in 2013.
Click here to see or download the Report...
8/1/2014 KQED Reports 'Down to the Wire: Lawmakers Have 4 Weeks to Act on Assisted Living Reforms' on August 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th
The stories begin airing on The California Report on Monday, August 4th. They run August 4th and 5th and then again the following Monday and Tuesday, August 11th and 12th.
Click here to read the article

Click here to listen to KQED California Report: "A Walk Through Assisted Living Facilities in California

Click here to listen to KQED California Report: "Online Information About Assisted Living Facilities Hard to Come By"

Click here to listen to KQED California Report: "Crime in Assisted Living: What Happens After"

Click here to listen to KQED California Report: "Are The Proposed Assisted Living Reforms in California Enough?"
7/31/2014 The University Mound Ladies Home Appears to be Saved
University Mound, a home for seniors “of moderate means” since the 1880s, was pending sale to the Alta Vista School, a private elementary school. University Mound’s board of directors had previously signed a contract to sell the two-story brick building to Alta Vista for $5.7 million. Instead, assisted-living company AgeSong will take over the home and continue to operate it as a home for seniors under a deal that could close as soon as Thursday, the company’s CEO said Wednesday. That contract included a clause that allowed AgeSong to buy the property instead if it could match the bid. Nader Shabahangi, AgeSong’s cofounder and CEO, said Wednesday he had assembled a team of investors to do just that. “Hopefully, we can get in there in the next few days to reduce anxiety and give people peace of mind that they don’t have to worry about where they’re going to be living,” he said. About 53 seniors lived at University Mound as of May, when the home’s board first gave its residents 60-day eviction notices. About 20 remain there today.
Read the SF Examiner article...
7/31/2014 Governor Brown signed AB 1572 (Eggman) into law
AB 1572 significantly strengthens the rights of residents and their families to form resident and family councils. Resident and family councils are a powerful tool to improve quality of life and care. Some of the most important features of the legislation are two or more residents can now form a resident council where it use to take a majority; providers must inform both residents and families of their right to form councils; providers must respond to written requests or concerns of councils within 14 days and are prohibited from interfering in the formation, maintenance or promotion of councils, interference that could result in a violation with a citation and a civil penalty of $250 per day. This law will become effective January 1, 2015.

This is the first bill of the RCFE Reform Campaign that will become law. Thank you for your support to pass AB 1572 but we still need your support to pass the rest of the RCFE Reform Act.
Click here for RCFE Reform Act bills...
7/21/2014 CANHR Responds to - Fictions and Facts about the RCFE Reform Act of 2014.

A group of operators of small residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) are opposing the RCFE Reform Act of 2014. A centerpiece of the opposition is a website - - that includes a number of cursory attacks on the Reform Act that are inaccurate, misleading, or demonstrate a misunderstanding of the proposed policy.
Read CANHR's reply...
7/11/2014 The University Mound Ladies Home Pending Sale to Private Elementary School
The University Mound Ladies Home, one of San Francisco's oldest elderly care facilities, is pending sale to the Alta Vista School, a private elementary school. Unless supporters can figure out a way to to keep the money-losing facility open, all residents will be expected to leave. Family of residents say they had absolutely no knowledge the home was in trouble until they received a phone call on May 7th letting them know the facility would be closing July 10th.
Read the SF Gate article..
Read the SF Examiner article...
6/16/2014 Inspector General Slams California Nursing Home Inspections Again
A June 14, 2014 report by the federal Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services criticized the quality of California nursing home licensing inspections. The report, CMS’s Reliance on California Licensing Surveys of Nursing Homes Could Not Ensure the Quality of Care Provided to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries, found that the California licensing inspections cannot be counted on to identify violations of state nursing home standards.
6/10/2014 New CANHR Report: No Standards: How Nursing Homes Attempted to Undermine California's Standard Admission Agreement and Diminish Resident Rights
After 12 years of legal drama, the California Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a standard admission agreement (SAA) in 2012, setting the contractual terms of service between nursing homes and their residents.
5/16/2014 Comfort as the New Medicine" Comes to San Diego on July 24
CANHR is pleased to co-sponsor a full-day dementia care training in San Diego on July 24. The event will be led by Tena Alonzo, the fantastic comfort care teacher from the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix, AZ, and Martha Ranon from the Southern Caregiver Resource Center. The event's other co-sponsors are Elder Law & Advocacy, Southern Caregiver Resource Center, and the State Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The training is meant to be an implementation follow-up to the CANHR co-sponsored dementia care conference that was held in San Diego in June 2012. The trainers will use real-life case studies and focus on the day-to-day use of comfort care principles in lieu of chemical restraints to take care of the needs of people with dementia. Lunch and CEUs will be provided. The cost of the event is only $25. To register, call (858) 565-1392.
Click here to see the event flyer...
5/16/2014 Press Release: California’s Medi-Cal Recovery = Expensive Health Care Loans for Low Income Citizens
SB 1124, authored by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Los Angeles), will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee next week.
SB 1124 is a response to consumer concerns and consumer outrage at being forced to obtain coverage via a Medi-Cal managed care program if their income is too low for Covered California.
Read the press release ...
4/25/2014 Congressman Takano's Report: Feds Need to Take Action on Reverse Mortgages
Riverside Congressman Mark Takano finds that the federal government needs to take action against the reverse mortgage industry. A report just released by Takano's office stated that reverse mortgages are bad for seniors, that lenders are exploiting seniors, and this is not good for the federal government.
Read the report ...
4/22/2014 Assisted Living Death Tax - No longer legal
Most rental agreements require notice to the landlord when you move out. One would think that dying in an residential care facility for the elderly would be notice enough. Apparently not! So last year the State Legislature unanimously passed a law saying "A residential care facility for the elderly shall not require advance notice for terminating an admission agreement upon the death of a resident." But the practice goes on!
Read about it at "7 On Your Side"...
4/03/2014 Press Release: RCFE Reform Act of 2014 Bills to Be Heard Next Week
Sacramento––California legislators will present their RCFE Reform Act bills at policy hearings of the Senate Human Services and Assembly Human Services Committees on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
Read the press release...
3/14/2014 Yamada Audit Request Approved
The California Legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee, or “JLAC”, has approved a request to audit the Department of Public Health's Licensing and Certification Division's regulation of long-term health care facilities. 
Read the press release...
3/4/2014 OIG Report: One-Third of Nursing Home Residents Are Harmed During Their Stays
A new report from the federal government has found that one-third of Medicare beneficiaries experience an adverse or temporary harm event during their stay in a nursing home. The harmful events included overmedication, falls, bleeding, and infections which led to 1,538 deaths and 3,986 "cascade events" in just one month. Fifty-nine percent of the events were deemed preventable.
Read the ProPublica article about the report ...
3/4/2014 In LA County, County officials established a "Complaint Workload Clean Up Project" to close nursing home complaints without investigation, according to a new investigation by Kaiser Health News reporter Anna Gorman.
2/24/2014 Loophole in healthcare law may put Medi-Cal patients' assets at risk
A provision in the Affordable Care Act may leave the financial assets of some Medi-Cal enrollees vulnerable to federal collection.
2/12/2014 DOJ Issues Guidelines on Mobility Devices
On January 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a technical assistance publication entitled ADA Requirements: Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices. This six-page document provides guidance on the Department's 2010 regulations regarding the use of wheelchairs, mobility aids and other power-driven mobility devices. The publication is designed to help state and local governments, businesses and non-profit organizations understand how the rules for mobility devices apply to them.
Read the Publication(posted February 12th, 2014)
2/12/2014 NSCLC Report Concludes California Lags Other States in Regulating Assisted Living Facilities
A new report by the National Senior Citizens Law Center, Best Practices in Assisted Living: Considering Potential Reforms for California, examines and compares California's assisted living laws with 11 other states. The report finds that California's assisted living policy is significantly out of date. Unlike many other states, California law does not reflect the sharp increase in residents' care needs over the past 10 to 15 years. The report concludes that California's laws require significant revision to keep pace with the new realities of assisted living, and makes recommendations based on best practices noted in other states.
Read the Report
1/31/2014 DPH Taken to Task for Neglecting Nursing Home Complaints
On January 21st, the Assembly Committees on Health and Aging and Long Term Care held a joint hearing to address the Department of Public Health’s (DPH’s) longstanding failures to conduct timely and meaningful investigations of nursing home complaints.
1/17/2014 Administrative Law Judge Hearings on Medicare Claims Appeals brought by Long-Term Care Providers Temporarily Suspended
The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) announced that it is suspending the assignment of most new requests by long-term care providers for an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing because it has “been unable to keep pace with the exponential growth in requests for hearing.“ While OMHA will continue to assign and process hearing requests filed directly by Medicare beneficiaries, it does not expect to resume assignments of other appeals by providers for at least 24 months with post-assignment hearing wait times continuing to exceed 6 months.
Click here to read the Memorandum
1/15/2014 Insured for Old Age? An Economist Explains the Dangers of Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance has grown increasingly expensive, and for many folks, it's not worth the cost, says Lew Mandell.
Click here to read the PBS article by Lew Mandell
1/13/2014 9 Reform Bills Introduced at a Sacramento Press Conference on Monday
The RCFE Reform Act of 2014 comprising 9 bills aimed at reforming the assisted living industry in California, were introduced at a press conference in Sacramento on Monday. There were eight legislators in attendance.
Click here to read the legislative factsheets
1/10/2014 Press Release: California Legislators Address Crisis in Senior Care Homes
Sacramento––A coalition of California legislators will appear at a press conference on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 11:30 am in Room 3191 at the State Capitol to unveil their bills as part of the RCFE Reform Act of 2014.
Click here to read the statement
1/9/2014 Media Advisory: California Legislators and Advocates Announce RCFE Reform Act of 2014
A press conference will be held on Monday, January 13, at 11:30 am at the State Capitol to announce the introduction of the Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) Reform Act of 2014
Click here to read the statement
12/11/2013 Santa Clara Dementia Care Symposium coming February 6
CANHR is bringing its popular traveling dementia care symposium to Santa Clara on February 6, 2014. The day will be dedicated to teaching care partners a person-centered approach to care that is focused on providing comfort instead of sedating drugs. Dr. Jonathan Evans, the President of the American Medical Directors Association, will be speaking. Co-sponsored with the Alzheimer's Association and the long-term Care Ombudsman programs of Santa Clara, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties. Lunch and CEU credits will be provided.
Click here to see the event flyer

Click here to register
11/22/2013 $2.2 Billion Johnson & Johnson Settlement Sends New Warning: Antipsychotic Drugs Should Not Be Used to Treat Dementia
In response to the recent $2.2 billion settlement with Johnson and Johnson for mismarketing the antipsychotic drug Risperdal for elderly people with dementia, CANHR and other long term care consumer advocates released the following statement.
Click here to read the statement
10/30/2013 CANHR Releases Report on Residential Care in California: Unsafe, Unregulated & Unaccountable
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) is releasing the attached report on the crisis in care at California's 7,500 Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). The recent abandonment of 14 bedridden residents at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley highlights the serious problems in oversight and enforcement. With this report and its recommendations, we call upon Community Care Licensing, the agency responsible for regulatory oversight and enforcement of the RCFE laws, to reclaim its role as a consumer protection agency. We also call upon California legislators and the Department of Social Services to address this crisis in care and to create a new model of care where the health and safety of residents takes priority.
Click Here for a copy of the Report
10/22/2013 Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Unrepresented Nursing Home Residents from Physician and Staff Abuses
A lawsuit filed Tuesday, October 22, 2013, in Alameda Superior Court against the California Department of Public Health (DPH) on behalf of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) and several nursing home residents seeks to find unconstitutional a California law that permits nursing homes residents to be found incompetent and administered mind-altering drugs, placed in physical restraints, have life sustaining treatment ended and denied due process if they seem not to have a “surrogate” or anyone to assist them in opposing such treatment decisions.
Read More for the full press release
Click here for a copy of the complaint
10/11/2013 CANHR is pleased to announce that Governor Brown has signed AB 140 into law
AB 140 gives a new definition for California's undue influence statute, which has not been changed since its enactment way back in 1872.
10/11/2013 CANHR co-sponsored bill, SB 272 (Corbett) signed into law
SB 272 protects senior veterans from misleading advertising that uses emblems, insignias, symbols or anything that can be reasonably interpreted or construed as implying any federal military, state military, military veteran, or military or veteran services organization connection, approval, or without their express approval.
10/1/2013 CANHR to co-host Modesto Dementia Care Symposium
CANHR will be co-hosting its eighth dementia care symposium on November 12, 2013. This time, CANHR is bringing its comfort-focused care road show to the Modesto area for a FREE half-day event featuring presentations from dementia care experts and a panel discussion of hypothetical tough cases. Lunch and CEU credits will be provided.

Click here to view the event flyer.
9/16/2013 National Commission on Long-Term Care Releases Recommendations But Fails To Offer Plan To Help Pay For Services
A commission created by Congress to address the country's surging need for long-term health care released recommendations Friday but did not reach a consensus on how to pay for these expensive services. The three-page summary of recommendations addresses a wide-ranging list of concerns but offers few specific remedies. The Commission's full report, rejected by a bipartisan minority of commissioners, is expected to be released next week.
In addition: Five Members of Long-Term Care Commission Release Alternative Recommendations
9/16/2013 Unsafe Nursing Homes Are Exposed in Hall of Flame
Almost 1200 U.S. nursing homes, including more than 30 facilities in California, failed to meet an August 13, 2013 federal deadline for installing an automatic sprinkler system to protect residents from fire hazards. Some of the unsafe nursing homes do not have a sprinkler system; others have partial systems. Despite giving nursing homes FIVE YEARS to install automatic sprinkler systems, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is not taking strong steps to enforce compliance or to expose unsafe nursing homes. To alert the public, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has established a Hall of Flame to expose the nursing homes that failed to meet the CMS sprinkler requirements.
9/10/2013 KQED/CIR Report on Abuse & Neglect in California Long Term Care
State investigators are opening and closing investigations into suspected abuse without ever leaving their desks, the Center for Investigative Reporting and KQED have found. In some instances, caregivers who have sexually assaulted or abused patients have retained their licenses and moved to other facilities.
9/10/2013 Abuse and Neglect Not Investigated at California's Assisted Living/RCFEs
The San Diego Union Tribune and the Center for Health Reporting at the University of Southern California examined more than 80 possible crimes at San Diego County residential care homes for th eelderly in the past 10 years for which criminal investigations were never launched or fizzled due to delays. Elder abuse, sexual assault and other acts regularly go uninvestigated as crimes at assisted living homes across California, as the facilities fall into a jurisdictional haze in which the first response is often administrative sanctions.
8/16/2013 California Nursing Homes Get a “C” in Report Card
California nursing homes rank 28th in the United States according to Families for Better Care, a nursing home resident family advocacy group in Florida. The group recently released a nursing home care report card for all 50 states and Washington, DC. where nursing home care was assessed using a formula of staffing levels, enforcement actions, and Ombudsman complaints. Alaska facilities were ranked first and Texas was ranked last. California rated a “C” - average score - with D’s in registered nursing hours, deficiencies, and inspections. The California report stated “rampant problems plague California nursing homes as 9 out of 10 facilities cited a deficiency.” To see the report cards, go to
8/06/2013 Study Shows Extreme Overuse of POLST in Nursing Homes
A 2012 study looking at the use of Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms has found that about 20% of California nursing homes have all of their residents have a POLST form while nearly 40% of nursing homes had at least 90% of their residents have a POLST. The numbers are tremendously high, especially considering that POLST forms are meant for a very small number of people: people who are terminally ill or suffering from a chronic progressive illness likely to end in their death. To read the study, click here.
7/16/2013 July 30th Frontline - Life and Death in Assisted Living
Coming July 30th, FRONTLINE and ProPublica investigate assisted living in America. In a major investigation with ProPublica, FRONTLINE will examine the operations of the nation's largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care. For more information, visit PBS's website.
7/12/2013 Governor appoints Prescott Cole to the California Professional Fiduciaries
Advisory Committee

CANHR is delighted to announce that Governor Jerry Brown has appointed CANHR Senior Staff Attorney Prescott Cole to the California Professional Fiduciaries Advisory Committee.
7/10/2013 Kaiser Family Foundation Report Explores Increasing Nursing Home Profits
The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued a new report which traces the recent growth of Medicare payments and profits to nursing homes despite seemingly stagnant nursing home spending on actual care.
7/01/2013 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Supreme Court Decision: Hold Claims Involving Same-Sex Married Couples
Get instructions for processing Medicare and disability claims involving same-sex married couples, including claims involving children with same-sex married parents.
7/01/2013 HHS clarifies gay couples have nursing home visitation rights
Gay people living in nursing homes will have the same guaranteed access to their partners and spouses as gay patients in hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid, according to new guidance obtained Friday by the Washington Blade.
6/12/2013 Campbell, Millbrae Nursing Homes in Bankruptcy
A & C Health Care Services, Inc., the licensee for Camden Convalescent Hospital, a 60 bed nursing home in Campbell, California and A & C Convalescent Hospital of Millbrae, a 140 bed nursing home in Millbrae, filed for bankruptcy on June 3. At this point we are unsure as to what steps the Department of Public Health will take to protect the residents of these facilities from transfer trauma. One can see bankruptcy filing information on this Web page.
6/11/2013 Obamacare Explained: A Guide for Californians
An on-line guide produced by KQED News and The California Report to help Californians steer their way through the health insurance maze. Starting January 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. It's part of the federal Affordable Care Act. This guide explains how the health law affects you, your family or your small business, here in California. It's for people who already have insurance and people who don't — but want to get it. The new health insurance options offered to you as a Californian are outlined and the guide shows you how to access them. If you're concerned about the cost, the guide also shows you what help is available. Link here:
5/17/2013 Website Tool Allows You to Search Your Doctor's Prescribing Practices
ProPublica ( has released an on-line search tool allowing people to look up a physician's prescribing practices as it relates to antipsychotics. The search tool shows what percentage of a physician's Medicare Part D patients were 65 or older and what percentage of patients received an antipsychotic. Check your doctor's rate by going to
5/14/2013 RCFE/Assisted Living "Death" Charges to End
ABC's Channel 7 - "7 On Your Side" - highlights AB 261 (Chesbro), which will end the ability of Residential Care Facilities to require advanced notice or to charge fees after a resident has died. Watch the video here.
3/20/2013 IHSS Lawsuit Settlement - Devastating Cuts Avoided
Lawyers representing IHSS consumers, unions and the State of California have reached a settlement that will prevent the implementation of devastating cuts to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). In the settlement, the State has agreed to repeal and eliminate two major cuts to IHSS: (1) the 20% across-the-board reduction in IHSS hours from 2011, and (2) the termination or reduction in IHSS for many recipients based on their functional index score from 2009. Read More...
3/15/2013 Free Workshop for Seniors on Elder Financial Abuse Los Angeles ––
A free workshop on avoiding elder financial abuse will be held on April 2, 2013 at the Magnolia Place Family Center in Los Angeles. The workshop, What You Need to Know About Elder Financial Abuse, is sponsored by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), with Prescott Cole, CANHR’s senior staff attorney as keynote speaker. Mr. Cole will discuss common schemes and effective strategies to avoid financial abuse scams, including dangerous reverse mortgages, annuity scams, long term care insurance policies, and nursing homes and VA benefit scams. Read more...
3/12/2013 Disability Rights California Report Finds Dominican Hospital Ethics Committee and Physicians Violated Patient's Right to Make End-of-Life Decisions Before Terminating His Life-Sustaining Dialysis Treatments. After what appears to be a very exhaustive investigation, Disability Rights California found numerous problems surrounding the death of a patient of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. Most notably, the hospital's bioethics committee decided to discontinue its patient's dialysis treatment depite having no legal authority to do so and despite a Physician's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form in which the patient directed full treatment of his conditions. The patient died following the termination of his dialysis. Read more...
3/5/2013 Harrowing 911 Call & Refusal to Perform CPR - National Dialogue Needed? Most of you have probably heard about the refusal of a Bakersfield Glenwood Gardens nurse to provide CPR to an 87 year old resident, despite the pleas of the 911 dispatcher. For seven minutes and 16 seconds, the dispatcher begged staff to do something to save the resident, who died shortly after EMTs arrived. The resident lived in the Glenwood Gardens independent living section. Although Glenwood Gardens has applied for CCRC status, it has not yet been approved, so the unit was not subject to any state or federal regulations. In fact, there are no regulations that require CPR, even in assisted living.
2/28/2013 Office of Inspector General Report: $5.1 billion in Medicare funds wasted on poor nursing home care The report, titled, "Skilled Nursing Facilities Often Fail to Meet Care Planning and Discharge Planning Requirements," was released Thursday, February 28, 2013, by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general, and noted that Medicare paid about $5.1 billion for patients to stay in skilled nursing facilities that failed to meet federal quality of care rules in 2009, in some cases resulting in dangerous and neglectful conditions. Read more...
2/25/2013 CANHR Sponsors upcoming drug symposium March 7, 2013 - Building Relationships: The New Medicine for Treating Dementia
2/21/2013 Press Release:California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Brings Lawsuit to Close Corporate Loopholes. Read more...
2/12/2013 New Report on Affordable Care Act and Nursing Home Requirements The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has just released a new report "Implementation of Affordable Care Act Provisions To Improve Nursing Home Transparency, Care Quality, and Abuse Prevention." Written by Dr. Charlene Harrington, UCSF and Janet Wells, long term care consultant, the report describes the new ACA requirements, explains the background for their inclusion in the law, and outlines the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) progress in implementing them to date. Read the Report.
1/30/2013 Next Generation Dementia Care Symposium in Oxnard on March 7. CANHR is co-sponsoring "Building Relationships: The New Medicine for Treating Dementia" in Oxnard on March 7, 2013. The event will feature a keynote address from Dr. Jonathan Evans, the President-elect of the American Medical Directors Association and several training sessions presented by Ventura County-area long-term care providers to share their experiences in improving their own dementia care and reducing their reliance on harmful or unnecessary psychotropic drugs. CANHR Staff Attorney Anthony Chicotel will also be presenting at the symposium.
1/23/2013 Empowering Women Across the Generations - Public Policy Conference. On Feb. 9 in Ontario, CA, sponsored by the California Federation of Business and Professional Women. One of the keynote speakers will be Patricia McGinnis, founder and Executive Director of CANHR.
1/15/2013 Medical Board is No Friend to Drugging Victims Article by Anthony Chicotel, CANHR Staff Attorney, the San Jose Mercury-News about the California Medical Board's failure to take action in two tragic cases.
1/15/2013 Former Director of Nursing Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Drugging Nursing Home Residents
12/14/2012 CANHR Urges Stronger Consumer Protections for Reverse Mortgages in Letter to HUD. In a letter sent to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Consumers Union and CANHR urged federal regulators to consider a more comprehensive package of reverse mortgage protections for seniors.
12/12/2012 CANHR Senior Staff Attorney Prescott Cole on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Mr. Cole was interviewed for a story on the risks involved with reverse mortgages and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's proposed changes to the program.
1/7/2013 CANHR assisted the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect at UC Irvine School of Medicine in creating a resource guide for veterans to protect themselves from scams and financial abuse.
12/11/2012 Spousal Impoverishment Now Available to Same Sex Spouses & RDPs
12/11/2012 CANHR Lawsuit Targets Nursing Home Management and Fees
11/9/2012 CANHR Executive Director Pat McGinnis on ABC 7 News. Ms. McGinnis was interviewed as part of a "7 on Your Side" story on Assited Living Facilities and how some are requiring 30 days notice, even in cases of death... Read more and watch the video.
9/28/2012 U.S. Senators Kohl, Grassley and Blumenthal Introduce Bill to Strengthen Informed Consent for Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes Last week, Senators Kohl, Grassley and Blumenthal introduced the Improving Dementia Care Treatment in Older Adults Act (S. 3604) in response to increased reports of epidemic misuse of antipsychotics to chemically restrain nursing home residents with dementia.
9/17/2012 RA Draft Regulations released
9/6/2012 Advocates: Now Is The Time To Reform Reverse Mortgages
8/16/2012 Sonoma Development Center Survey Reveals Major Problems. A 495 page survey conducted by the Department of Public Health and completed on July 3, 2012 reveals major problems of poor medical care and failures to prevent abuse and investigate when patients are harmed.
8/16/2012 New Nursing Home Inspect Tool. ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, has unveiled a new interactive tool to search nursing home inspection reports.
8/16/2012 Covenant Care lawsuit reinstated. A state appeals court reinstated a lawsuit against the owner of 16 nursing homes in Alameda County on Wednesday and said patients can sue long-term care facilities for failing to meet California's nurse-staffing standards...
7/16/2012 CANHR Releases Attorney General Reports showing rampant abuse and neglect at 14 California Nursing Homes. California Advocates for Nursing Home Residents (CANHR) has obtained and released reports issued by the California Attorney General’s “Operation Guardians” that detail widespread abuse, neglect, and generally terrible conditions in the four7een nursing homes inspected since 2010. The reports reveal a shameful state of affairs in the reviewed nursing homes that is fostered, in part, by a lack of statewide enforcement from the Department of Public Health (DPH). Click here to read the reports, CANHR’s executive summary and CANHR’s press release. Read more...
7/5/2012 Physical Restraints Found Rampant at Marin Convalescent
6/28/2012 Lawsuit seeks injunction to improve care at Creekside Health Care Center. On June 25, current and former residents of Creekside Health Care Center in San Pablo, California, filed a lawsuit against the facility and its parent corporation, Mariner Health Care, Inc., alleging serious and continuing Residents’ Rights violations. The lawsuit alleges that residents were severely neglected, with residents left in soiled diapers and clothing for hours and suffering falls and painful pressure sores. The lawsuit also alleges the facility's lax supervision led to multiple sexual assaults perpetrated by an outside visitor. To see the lawsuit complaint, click here.
6/15/2012 CMS approves extension of spousal impoverishment transfers to same sex spouses and registered domestic partners.
6/14/2012 "What could that FREE lunch cost you? -- How to Avoid Being Drawn Into Financial Elder Abuse Scams." Opening your doors to financial predators may create civil and criminal liability for Assisted Living Facilities. Seniors fear outliving their assets and are constantly drawn to individuals whom they believe can help them. Often times these individuals are scam artists peddling worthless services or unsuitable financial products. Presenter: CANHR's Prescott Cole, Esq - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - Free Webinar
5/23/2012 Contact Senators Feinstein and Boxer Today to Cut Misuse of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes
5/10/2012 Department of Public Health Seeks to Deregulate Nursing Homes. In a brazen attempt to deregulate nursing homes, the Department of Public Health (DPH) presented a legislative proposal today that would gut California’s oversight of nursing home care and destroy countless reforms established by the Legislature over the last 30 years.
4/27/2012 CANHR's Dementia Care Symposium Coming to So Cal on June 4 and 5!. Following the phenomenal success of similar symposia in central and northern California, CANHR is co-sponsoring back-to-back full day dementia care trainings in San Diego and Los Angeles. The symposia will address the increasing misuse of psychotropic drugs as treatment for dementia and focus on non-pharmacological alternatives. Each symposium will feature presentations and workshops to promote better dementia care. The symposia are part of CANHR's on-going Campaign to End the Misuse of Psychotropic Drugs in California Nursing Homes.
4/6/2012 At Long Last Standard Admission Agreement Takes Effect. After 15 years of seemingly endless bureaucratic delays and court battles, today (April 6, 2012) marks the first day that California nursing homes are required to use the Standard Admission Agreement developed by the California Department of Public Health. Its use is required by a 1997 California law (SB 1061) co-sponsored by CANHR and Bet Tzedek Legal Services. The Standard Admission Agreement replaces admission contracts written by nursing homes that commonly contain deceptive, self-serving or illegal terms. Click here to read CANHR's new fact sheet on the Standard Admission Agreement.
3/13/2012 CMS to Introduce Campaign to Reduce Antipsychotic Use on March 29
1/27/2012 CANHR releases a new report on the sad state of nursing home drugging in California. Today, CANHR is releasing "In a Stupor: What California’s Antipsychotic Drug Collaborative Reveals About Illegal Nursing Home Drugging." The report analyzes the findings of the Department of Public Health's Antipsychotic Drug Collaborative with which the Department has investigated 24 nursing homes and found 147 violations of state rules regarding the use of antipsychotics on residents. The Department's investigations confirm that misuse of antipsychotics is rampant in California nursing homes and deserves immediate remedial action.
1/19/2012 Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction, Stops IHSS 20% across the board cuts from going forward. On January 19, 2012, a Federal Judge in Oakland continued to block the state from reducing in-home care to thousands of low-income disabled and elderly residents.
1/3/2012 CORRECTION: In the most recent edition of The Advocate a Citation issued by the State of California Dept. of Public Health was incorrectly attributed to Dreier's Nursing Care Center in Glendale when the Citation was actually issued to another facility. Dreiers Nursing Care Center has not received any Citations in 2011. We apologize for this error.
12/7/2011 U.S. Senate Holds Hearing About Antipsychotic Misuse in Nursing Homes.
11/18/2011 Lawsuit filed to End Practice of Hospital "Observation Status". On November 3, 2011, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the National Senior Citizens Law Center filed a class action lawsuit against Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, on behalf of seven individual plaintiffs - all Medicare beneficiaries who received hospital inpatient services - harmed by the increasingly common practice of classifying these patients as on "observation status," rather than inpatients. This practice deprives Medicare beneficiaries of Part A coverage for their hospital stay, and because of the 3-day prior hospitalization stay requirement - deprives them of Part A coverage for post-hospitallization skilled nursing care.
10/14/2011 The Secretary of State is asked to release funds to 514 victims of elder financial abuse. The California Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund, since its inception in 2002 has collected almost $15 Million and only paid out $92,000 to seven people.
10/14/2011 New Law Extends Financial Protections for Medi-Cal's Long Term Care Benefit to Same Sex Spouses and Registered Domestic Partners: On October 11, 2011, The Governor signed AB 641, a major step forward in ensuring that same sex partners receive equal treatment under the law during one of the most difficult periods of life - i.e., when one spouse must enter a nursing home.
9/22/2011 Falsified Patient Records are Untold Story of California Nursing Home Care. On September 18th and 19th, the Sacramento Bee published an alarming series on the common complaint that nursing home records often have little to do with reality.
9/16/2011 CCL Issues New Policies to Protect RCFE Residents from Unlawful Evictions.
9/1/2011 Treatment of Lavender v. Skilled Healthcare Settlement Funds.
8/30/2011 Governor Axes Adult Day Health Care Services Governor Brown struck down a replacement program for Adult Day Health Care Services (ADHC) and upended the lives of about 35,000 Californians who depend on the services to meet their needs and stay out of nursing homes.
8/19/2011 Long-Term Care Insurance on the Radio. CANHR Staff Attorney Prescott Cole and financial advisor Timothy Millar joined KALW Radio Host Chuck Finney on "Your Legal Rights" for an hour-long discussion on the pros and cons of Long-Term Care Insurance.
8/16/2011 Ventura County is Center of Least-Medicating Movement. Ventura County might seem like an unlikely base for a statewide movement to end the misuse of psychoactive drugs on nursing home residents, but thanks to a unique mix of tireless long-term care Ombudsman, dedicated and curious care providers, and some world-class experts, all of Ventura County is buzzing with the opportunity to offer cutting-edge dementia care to its residents.
8/2/2011 Illegal Nursing Home Evictions on the Rise as State Shirks Enforcement. Channel 5 News in San Francisco has posted a story featuring two Bay Area illegal nursing home eviction cases. Nursing homes have become more brazen in refusing to readmit residents who have been temporarily hospitalized, largely due to the lack of state enforcement of resident eviction protections. Watch the Channel 5 story...
6/21/2011 Your Right to Visit - CANHR Publishes Free Guide for Visitors to Long-term Care Residents and Hospital Patients.The right to meet with visitors of a person's choosing is among the most intimate rights we have. Despite federal and state laws that protect the right to visitation for people who enter a long-term care facility or hospital, health care providers often prohibit visitors who are considered problematic. These providers illegally assume the role of sentinel - deciding who may or may not see a resident. This Guide reviews the laws protecting a resident's right to visitation and common visitation issues and offers ideas for remedying visitation problems through the use of sample cases.
5/3/2011 In Memoriam: Long Time CANHR Member Pearl Caldwell. Pearl Caldwell, a long time CANHR member and – for over 25 years - the Coordinator of CANHR’s Santa Clara County Family Support Group, passed away on Sunday, May 1, 2011.
4/7/2011 New Release:  Assisted Living Administration and Management. CANHR Board member, Dr. Darlene Yee-Melichar, is the co-author, along with Andrea Renwanz Boyle and Cristina Flores, of the recently released "Assisted Living Administration and Management: Effective Practices and Model Programs in Elder Care."  Dr. Yee-Melichar, a Professor and the Coordinator of the Gerontology Program at San Francisco State University.
3/31/2011 Olive Ridge Post Acute Care, a skilled nursing center in Oroville, was cited 15 times for violations of state and federal law regarding resident evictions when it illegally closed down an entire unit and forced most of the residents to move to new facilities.
3/25/2011 Use of chemical restraints in nursing homes called an epidemic. Nearly 25 percent of the residents in California's nursing homes are placed on antipsychotic drugs, often used as sort of a chemical leash to control behavior in a trend a watchdog called an epidemic Thursday at a symposium.
3/17/2011 Elder Justice Advocates: about attorneys committed to protecting and safeguarding elders in California through advocacy and elder abuse litigation.
2/18/2011 Senate Hearing, February 22. CANHR's Executive Director Pat McGinnis will be testifying about the state of elder abuse in California during a first-ever joint hearing of the Assembly Aging and Long-term Care and Public Safety Committees. The hearing will be held from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesday, February 22. Pat will be one of several long-term care and law enforcement experts to speak at the hearing. The hearing will likely be webcast live through
12/17/2011 DRA Update. The Department has given permission to release the draft DRA regulations. This version is only the latest of several versions, and we want to make it clear that these are not final regulations.
12/16/2010 Report on Reverse Mortgages. The Consumers Union along with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform and the Council on Aging Silicon Valley released a report calling for stricter oversight of the reverse mortgage market and new consumer protections for borrowers. Noting that "Reverse mortgages are a very risky deal for borrowers who don't understand the complicated terms of the loan and how quickly fees and interest charges can add up", the report offers tips for consumers to help avoid unnecessary or unsuitable transactions.
12/7/2010 CANHR Tells Senate Forum: No More Chemical Restraints! On December 8, 2010, Patricia McGinnis, CANHR's Executive Director, will speak to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging on CANHR's campaign to end the epidemic misuse of antipsychotic drugs by nursing homes to chemically restrain residents who suffer from dementia. By invitation of the Committee, Ms. McGinnis is presenting at its forum: Until There's a Cure: How to Help Alzheimer's Patients and Families Now. A webcast of the forum will be posted to the Senate Committee's website following the event.
11/16/2010 Press Release: CANHR Launches Campaign to Fight Drugging of Nursing Home Residents CANHR’s new campaign takes aim at the rampant misuse of antipsychotics and other psychoactive drugs by nursing homes to sedate and subdue their residents.
10/19/2010 Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment "POLST" - Problems and Recommendations. Read CANHR's report on POLST in California and learn why it has created several problems for health care consumers, particularly nursing home residents.
10/14/2010 California 2010-2011 Budget: Impact on Health and Human Services. On Monday, October 8, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed California's $87.5 billion budget, after line item vetoes of an additional $963 million. The most that can be said is that it's not as bad as we thought it would be.
10/8/2010 CANHR mourns the loss of Ed Pope, who died in San Jose on October 3, 2010.
9/30/2010 Governor Vetoes SB 1329
8/11/2010 Motion Picture Home Cited for Illegal Transfers
7/27/2010 GAO Issues Report on Resident Risks in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
7/23/2010 Reforms to Nursing Home Payment System Moving Forward
6/24/2010 Audit Finds the Department of Public Health Isn’t Collecting Fines Against Nursing Homes for Abuse and Neglect
6/24/2010 State Reports Huge Increase in Nursing Home Profits
A June 2010 report by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) reports that nursing home profits (net income) grew by 640 percent from 2003 to 2007, increasing from $70 million in 2003 to almost $448 million in 2007.
The report attributes the increase to AB 1629, a 2004 law that sets Medi-Cal payments to nursing homes. Developed by the nursing home industry, the law has increased Medi-Cal payments to skilled nursing facilities by about a billion dollars per year since 2004 despite no change in the number of people being served.
5/26/2010 Governor's 2010-2011 Revised State Budget Reflects Lame Duck - "I'm Out of Here" - Agenda
5/10/2010 Disability Rights California Investigation Finds that Abuse by Nursing Home Staff is Not Treated as a Crime
5/4/2010 Drug Giant AstraZeneca Pays Half-Billion Dollar Penalty for Illegal Marketing of the Antipsychotic Seroquel to Drug Elders with Dementia.
4/19/2010 California Watch Investigation Reveals California Nursing Homes Receive Millions While Cutting Staff Wages
4/19/2010 New York Times Story Highlights RCFE Foreclosures and Legislation in California
4/7/2010 CANHR is pleased to announce the publication of “California Conservatorship Defense – A Guide for Advocates.”
4/1/2010 Medi-Cal Officials Snub Reforms to Protect Nursing Home Residents from Abuse and Neglect
3/31/2010 Preventable Harm: California Fails to Follow Through With Patient Safety Laws
3/31/2010 President Obama Signs Elder Justice Act and Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act
3/31/2010 Dangerous Caregivers: State Failed to Cross-Check Backgrounds, Exposing Elderly to Abusive Workers
3/30/2010 CANHR urges U.S. Senate to Maintain Protections Against Controlled Substances in Nursing Homes
3/11/2010 Department of Health Care Services Releases Proposed Bill for Recovery on Special Needs Trusts
Senate Budget Sub 3 has recommended that the Department's Special Needs Trust/Recovery bill not be heard and (like last year) believes it should be a policy bill, so they will not be considering it. The Department of Health Care Services' legislative proposal would prohibit Shewry v. Arnold from applying to Special Needs Trust recoveries and prohibit the deferrals and exemptions under the Medi-Cal recovery laws from applying to reimbursement of claims asserted against special needs trusts, including pooled special needs trusts. We do not know if the Department will continue to pursue this on a policy track, given the overwhelming budget issues out there, but will keep you informed.   Click to see the Department's proposed language  and  "Fact Sheet".
3/4/2010 Prescott Cole Named California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for Elder Law
Prescott Cole, CANHR’s Senior Staff Attorney, was selected by California Lawyer Magazine as a 2010 Clay Award winner and Attorney of the Year. Prescott was honored in the category of Elder Law for spearheading AB 329 (Feuer), which established new protections for seniors against reverse mortgage predators (see “New Protections for Reverse Mortgage Borrowers” in the December 2009 Network News). Those of you who know Prescott also know his relentless advocacy for elder abuse protections that has resulted in many successes on the state and national level. We are proud of Prescott and all he has done, not just in 2009, but throughout the last 14 years with CANHR.
2/25/2010 Press Release: TOXIC MEDICINE! - New Guide to Fighting the Misuse of Psychoactive Drugs in California Nursing Homes
1/6/2010 3 Nursing Home Patients Killed by 'Chemical Restraints'
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer reports on the Kern Valley deadly over-drugging case. CANHR is initiating a large scale campaign in 2010 to eliminate the misuse of psychoactive drugs in California nursing homes. If you or someone you know has been a victim of drug misuse in a nursing home, please contact CANHR.
11/04/2009 New Senate report - California Ombudsman Program not effectively responding to elder abuse
11/03/2009 Press Release: Beware of Swine Flu "Quarantines"
10/15/2009 Governor Vetoes Bill to Curtail the Drugging of Nursing Home Residents - CANHR's statement
10/6/2009 GAO Finds Many Poor Quality Nursing Homes Escape Needed Oversight
10/6/2009 Several CANHR Sponsored Bills Sent to Governor
9/15/2009 Mother Kills Daughter Then Self in Oakland Nursing Home
8/14/2009 Press Release: Santa Monica Nursing Home Fined $100,000 for Death of a Resident Due to Neglect
8/7/2009 Governor Signs AB 392 to Fund Ombudsman Programs
7/29/2009 Governor Slashes Health and Human Services Further
7/29/2009 New CANHR Report: "Conservatorship Reform in California: Three Cost-Effective Recommendations"
6/19/2009 State Issues Two $100,000 Fines for Neglect that Causes the Death of Encinitas and Los Angeles Nursing Home Residents
5/27/2009 Governor proposes drastic cuts in Health and Social Services and just about everything else
4/29/2009 May 2009: SSI/SSP Cuts in California and Federal Stimulus Payments
4/21/2009 Deaths of Santa Monica Nursing Home Residents from Neglect Result in Minimal Penalties from Licensing Officials
04/09/2009 CANHR Weekly Radio Program:
Elder Issues & Answers on Saturday, 9:30am, KTRB AM 860
03/06/2009 Last Minute Bush Administration Gag Rule Prevents State Licensing Staff from Producing Documents or Testifying in Nursing Home Cases
02/20/2009 Attorney General Charges Nursing Home Drugging is Assault with a Deadly Weapon
02/17/2009 In Memorial: Sherry McIlwain
02/17/2009 Recent Study Reveals Gross Failure of Nursing Homes to Adequately Treat
Terminally Ill Residents
12/18/2008 Feds Launch Nursing Home Rating System
10/01/2008 Pat McGinnis, CANHR’s Executive Director, interviewed by Michael Krasny on KQED Public Radio
09/30/2008 DRA Update: SB 483 Signed By the Governor
05/28/2008 Attorney General granted an injunction against James Walker and Senior Care Advocates. View a PDF copy of the injunction.
09/30/2008 New York Times Reports that 94% of Nursing Homes Have Health and Safety Violations
08/28/2008 Conviction Upheld for Bay Area Nursing Home Operator
07/14/2008 CANHR correspondent sues CCRC in San Francisco
06/13/2008 In Memorial: Sheila McGorty
06/05/2008 Health Care, Seniors Targeted by Budget Cuts
04/10/2008 CANHR Staff Attorney Receives Prestigious Sentinel Award
04/08/2008 Press Release: Billion Dollar Funding Increase Fails
to Improve Nursing Home Care in California
04/02/2008 SF Weekly reports: Nursing Home Lobbyist Quits
After He Predicts SEIU Powerplay
03/28/2008 CANHR mourns the loss of Mary Ballantyne
03/26/2008 New Report: Quality of Care in Residential Care for the Elderly, A Study of the Limitations & Potential of Community Care Licensing’s Current Data Systems
02/26/2008 Nursing Homes Are Understaffed Says State Report
02/15/2008 Nursing Home Transparency and
Improvement Act of 2008 Introduced
02/06/2008 Feds Out Nursing Homes with
High Levels of Restraints & Bedsores
02/04/2008 Department of Public Health Delays
Nursing Home Staffing Ratios Again
01/18/2008 Proposed Inspection Cuts Endanger Elders
12/12/2007 View Video: CANHR Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing
on Reverse Mortgage & Annuity Scams
12/01/2007 Congress Preparing Nursing Home Legislation
11/29/2007 SF Weekly Article: Roll of the Die –
Human Life Speculators Bet on Elder Deaths
11/15/2007 CBS Investigation: Lack of Oversight on California Homes for Disabled
10/26/2007 New York Times Report Spurs Investigations of
Nursing Homes Putting Profits Above Care
10/25/2007 San Diego Fires—Contact Information for Evacuated Elders
10/18/2007 Governor Vetoes Bill to Protect Nursing Home Abuse Victims
10/02/2007 LA Times: Bill Seeks Faster Investigations of Nursing Home Complaints
06/28/2007 DHS Compliance with CANHR vs DHS Order
05/11/2007 Court Orders DHS to Reissue Standard Admission Agreement
04/26/2007 Once Again GAO Finds Nursing Home Enforcement Weak and Ineffective
04/16/2007 State Auditor Cites DHS for Lax Nursing Home Oversight
02/05/2007 CANHR mourns the loss of former Lt. Governor Leo McCarthy
01/19/2007 Bet Tzedek Scores a Victory for Resident Rights
01/01/2007 2007 Rate and COLA Increases
10/23/2006 Alert: DHS Suspends Use of Standard Admission Agreement
10/11/2006 CANHR mourns the loss of William F. Taylor
10/06/2006 Legislation Update: Bills Signed
10/02/2006 Judge Orders State to Promptly Investigate Complaints of Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
09/05/2006 Legislative Alert: Important Long Term Care Bills Pass Legislature: Need Governor's Signature
07/26/2006 Updated:Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Regulations: Final and Proposed:
• Comprehensive (R-32-00) (pdf) filed May 10, 2006;
• Proposed Disability Regulations (R-14-04) (pdf) — CANHR's Comments Posted (pdf)
07/26/2006 CANHR ALERT: Heat Wave Turns Deadly; Nursing Homes Responsible for Resident Safety
06/22/2006 Legislature Passes SB 1248, The Nursing Home Residents' Rights Act of 2006 — Letters to Governor Needed
03/31/2006 Medicaid Alert: Federal Deficit Reduction Act, CANHR's analysis, and a consumer summary
03/31/2006 Konrad Semrau Memorial
03/15/2006 The Judicial Council's Probate Conservatorship Task Force is holding public hearings, March 24, San Francisco
03/15/2006 Legislature Orders Audit of Troubled Nursing Home Licensing Agency — CANHR's Press Release
03/07/2006 Notice of Estate Recovery Regulations Changes Released
02/01/2006 New fact sheet, "Medicare Part D: Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)" is now available.
01/19/2006 New Government Study Finds California Overlooks Serious Nursing Home Violations
- Click here for the report (pdf, 1.6mb)
- Click here for CANHR's press release
11/25/2005 Larry Roth Memorial, May 9, 1914 – November 22, 2005
11/16/2005 New Admission Agreement Rules, Effective 1/2/2006
11/11/2005 The 2006 CSRA and MMMNA standards have been announced. Click here to view the ACWDL #05-40
10/18/2005 CANHR files lawsuit against DHS for Failure to Investigate Complaints.
- Click here for the complaint. (pdf)
- Click here for the press release. (pdf)
10/07/2005 California Long-Term Care Residents Win New Rights!
09/14/2005 Nursing Homes Raise Private Rates to Keep Up with Medi-Cal
05/24/2005 State Drops "Emergency" Medi-Cal Regulations
11/22/2004 Lawsuit Against Trust Mills/Annuity Scams Announced
09/30/2004 Annuity Recovery Regulations Filed on Emergency Basis
07/07/2004 Senator Charles Grassley's letter to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services