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⭒ News & Notes Archive

April 2018

In this Issue


Off-Label Antipsychotic Use: Not Just a Nursing Home Problem

In a recent report, the AARP Public Policy Institute analyzed data regarding the use of antipsychotic drugs among older adults with dementia who live in the community, and found the rate had increased by over 6% from 2012 to 2015. Read more.

Full Report: https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2018/04/off-label-antipsychotic-use-in-older-adults-with-dementia.pdf



Nursing Home Compare Shows Steep Drop in Staffing Levels 

What caused average California nursing home staffing levels reported on CMS’s Nursing Home Compare to drop by half an hour in April? It is the outcome of a new reporting system – known as the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) – that CMS is using to collect and report data on direct care staffing in nursing homes. Nursing homes draw the PBJ data from payroll records and other auditable sources and report it electronically to CMS each quarter. The staffing data used previously was widely known to be inflated and inaccurate. After CMS posted the PBJ data to Nursing Home Compare in April, average California staffing levels dropped by 30 minutes per resident per day. Reported RN time went down 15 minutes and CNA time by the same amount. The impact, if any, on residents is unknown because it is very likely they never received the higher level of staffing care earlier reported.
 


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.
 
The Legislature ordered the audit last year due to reports that Brius Healthcare, California’s largest nursing home chain, was diverting large amounts of money from care by doing business with other companies (related parties) it owned or controlled.
 
The State Auditor found enormous increases in related-party transactions. From fiscal years 2007 through 2015, nursing home payments to related parties grew by 66 percent, and now exceed $1 billion annually. Three of California’s largest nursing home chains – Brius, Longwood and Plum – reported paying a combined $150.8 million to related parties in fiscal year 2015.  Read more



Victims of Financial Scams: If You Used Western Union to Transfer Funds, You may be Eligible for a Refund

If you were the victim of a financial scam, and used Western Union to transfer money to scammers between January 1, 2004 & January 19, 2017, you may be eligible for a full or partial refund. Western Union has paid $586 million to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (or FTC), and the Department of Justice (or DOJ), after violating U.S laws by processing hundreds of thousands of transactions for individuals involved in an international consumer fraud scheme. For more information call (844) 319-2124 or go to www.westernunionremission.com. 

CANHR on the Move

Pauline Mosher (left) presents a poster at the SFSU Graduate Research and Creative Works Showcase alongside Dr. Darlene Yee-Melichar (right), a Professor at the SFSU Gerontology Program and CANHR Board Member. 

Staff Attorney Jody Spiegel presents at a CCRC Resident Council Meeting (Fountainview at Gonda Westside in Playa Vista)

CANHR’s consumer booklet, “The New Medi-Cal Recovery Laws” is available for free download in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese here – and for free in bulk orders to Qualified Legal Services Programs. QLSPs simply need to contact pauline@canhr.org.

Watch CANHR’s Spanish-language video on the New Medi-Cal Recovery Laws here.