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⭒ News & Notes Archive

August 2019

In this Issue

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%.  Because Medicare reimbursements are higher than the Medi-Cal daily rates, discrimination against accepting Medi-Cal eligible residents has become the preferred way for nursing homes to increase their profits.
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Many View Assisted Living as Just Housing, not Health Care. That’s Dangerous

California’s rapidly aging population, and the challenges posed by this so-called “gray wave,” have sparked much discussion among health care experts and policymakers. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging, scheduled to be unveiled next year, affirms the need for decisive and strategic action. Reforming the assisted living industry must be a part of this strategy.
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Poor Quality of Hospice Care in the News

Problems with hospice care were back in the news in August. Steve Lopez, a columnist for the LA Times, published a column on August 10: After my mother’s disastrous hospice experience, we filed a state complaint. It came to nothing. It was the most recent of several thoughtful columns Lopez has written on the need for hospice reforms. On August 28, Elaine Chen of the Sacramento Bee published a lengthy article – California hospices face lax oversight and few rules. The sick and dying pay the price – describing serious problems with hospice care in California and the state’s woefully inadequate oversight system. These stories followed the release of two Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports in July that raised concerns about neglectful hospice care throughout the nation. 


OIG Finds California Background Checks Insufficient for Long-Term Care Caregivers

In August, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report that assessed the results of 11 states that received grants through the National Background Check Program to develop systems to conduct background checks of State and Federal criminal history records for prospective long-term care employees. Most of the 11 states implemented all or most of the program requirements. California, however, did not. Consequently, California had one of the lowest rates of background checks that resulted in determinations of ineligibility.
 Read the report.

Violation of the Month – DPH Waits Over Four Years to Issue Tiny Fine After Two Residents of Windsor Terrace Healthcare Center Are Sexually Assaulted

Two female residents were sexually assaulted on March 28, 2014 when a male certified nursing assistant (CNA) penetrated their vaginas with his finger while providing personal care. While assaulting them, the CNA asked the residents if it felt good. 

According to the Department of Public Health (DPH) citation, Windsor Terrace Healthcare Center in Van Nuys reported the sexual assaults to DPH on April 1, 2014. Yet, DPH did not issue its citation until July 6, 2018 – 52 months later – when it issued an outrageously small $2,000 fine. DPH routinely treats sexual crimes against nursing home residents as trivial offenses.
Click here to read the citation.

35 Years of Advocacy in Action!

Elder Law Conference 2019

CANHR’s 2019 Elder Law Conference has been scheduled for November 22 & 23 at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey. Come and gather in a beautiful place and catch up with colleagues, while keeping up with changes in Elder Law. Details for the conference and registration information will be sent soon and posted on CANHR’s website. Meanwhile, Save these Dates: November 22 & 23, 2019.