A 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.
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.
After 20 months of often extreme isolation from their family and friends, nursing home residents have finally been given back their visitation rights by the federal government.
A California jury sent a strong message to Parkview Healthcare Center in Hayward and Mariner Health Care, its parent company, that chronic understaffing and fraudulent record-keeping will not be tolerated.
In this Issue
- Governor Newsom Signs Five of Six Nursing Home PROTECT Plan Reform Bills
- Nursing Home Oversight, or Lack Thereof, Called Out by Legislature
- US News & World Report Article Critiques Medicaid Recovery System
- Residents Awarded $13 5 Million Following Four-Month Trial Against Parkview Healthcare Center
- Los Angeles County Office of Inspector General Issues Final Report on Skilled Nursing Facility Oversight and Accountability
- California to Phase in the Elimination of the Medi-Cal Asset Test
Governor Newsom Signs Five of Six Nursing Home PROTECT Plan Reform Bills
In early October the Governor signed into law 5 out of 6 reform bills that respond to the tragic conditions nursing home residents face in California and the growing public awareness during the pandemic that residents are often being neglected, abused, mistreated and exploited.