In a major development for CANHR’s six-year effort to force the State of California to enforce its own orders requiring nursing homes to readmit unlawfully evicted residents, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has opined that California’s position in the case is mistaken.
In 2015, fed up with an eviction hearing system that gave residents paper victories but not justice, CANHR and three residents who had been illegally dumped into hospitals sued the State arguing that its hearing system was a sham. In the subsequent years of litigating the case, state officials have spent enormous amounts of time and money to defend its abandonment of illegally evicted residents.
Recently, the judge in the case asked CMS for its opinion on the merits of the State’s arguments. In response, CMS explained that “CMS has repeatedly informed California that [CMS] does not believe the state’s procedures comply with [federal law].” CMS also wrote that California’s legal arguments do “not align with the requirements of the statute and its implementing regulations.” In other words, the State is not fulfilling its legal requirement to enforce hearing decisions and its legal arguments are wrong.
That’s what we’ve been telling the State for years.
Enforcing orders requiring nursing homes to readmit illegally evicted residents is not only a lawful imperative, it is a moral imperative. The State shamefully continues to waste taxpayer dollars and state resources on fighting to maintain its rotten abandonment of dumped nursing homes residents. We hope that CMS’s opinion will finally convince the State to do its job.