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⭒ New Developments

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.