In this Issue
- DPH Approves Staffing Waivers for Hundreds of Nursing Homes
- March 6th Hearing on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in US Senate
- When Hospice Care Goes Wrong
- Lakeview Terrace Settles Wrongful Discharge Case for $600,000
- Assisted Living Violation of the Month
- CANHR on the Move
DPH Approves Staffing Waivers for Hundreds of Nursing Homes
The Department of Public Health (DPH) has posted lists of the California nursing homes that it has approved to staff at levels below California’s minimum staffing requirements. Nursing homes with approved waivers are allowed to staff below the daily minimum 3.5 direct care service hours per resident requirement or the minimum 2.4 certified nursing assistant (CNA) hours per resident requirement, or both.
More than half of California nursing homes sought staffing waivers. DPH has created two types of waivers: the workforce shortage waiver and the patient needs waiver.
As of January 31, 2019, DPH had granted workforce shortage waivers to 117 nursing homes. DPH has not posted any information on the nursing homes that were denied waivers, but 344 skilled nursing facilities originally applied for this waiver.
CANHR remains concerned that DPH’s excessive focus on waiving California’s minimum staffing requirements is harming residents’ ability to receive needed care.
March 6th Hearing on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in U.S. Senate
At 7:15 am Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 6, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing, Not Forgotten: Protecting Americans from Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes. The hearing will be live streamed from the Committee’s website. CANHR and advocacy partners have submitted a joint written statement to the Committee for the hearing record.
When Hospice Care Goes Wrong
Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist, is shining a spotlight on problems with hospice care in California through an ongoing series of articles inspired by poor end of life care for his parents. While recognizing the noble work of hospice caregivers, the columns explore a wide array of troubling issues: the explosive growth of hospice agencies; the rise of corporate hospices; conflicts of interest between hospitals and hospices; layers of fraud; poor staffing; broken care promises; avoidable suffering by hospice patients; lack of oversight and no accountability. The columns also illustrate the challenges families often face in choosing a hospice agency due to aggressive marketing, pressure by hospital staff, lack of comparative information to distinguish good hospice agencies from bad ones, and imminent discharge deadlines.
Read the columns:
- 1/19/2019 – To Grace Lopez with love – and apologies that your end was not better
- 2/16/2019 – When hospice care goes wrong, where can you turn?
- 2/24/2019 – This doctor makes house calls to the terminally ill
Lakeview Terrace Settles Wrongful Discharge Case for $600,000
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced this week that Lakeview Terrace, an L.A. nursing home, has agreed to pay $600,000 for fines and services to settle a case alleging unlawful and unsafe discharge of residents. The settlement terms require the facility to assist homeless residents find safe and suitable placement and services when they no longer need nursing home care. The settlement even includes modest funds to pay residents’ housing costs for those who do not have appropriate housing available.
Congratulations to the L.A. City Attorney and his staff, who have successfully fought against resident and patient dumping for the last several years, and the WISE & Health Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman program, which was integral to the development and prosecution of the case.
Assisted Living Violation of the Month
Sacramento Assisted Living Facility Staff Stuff Socks into Resident’s Mouth
Staff members at Greenhaven Estates, a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) in Sacramento, were found to be stuffing socks or towels into a female resident’s mouth to prevent her from spitting or biting. This was a routine and “trained” practice on the resident performed “by numerous staff for a significant amount of time.” The resident had dementia and sometimes became upset while receiving care. Rather than review their care practices and reduce the resident’s fear and discomfort during provision of care, the staff jammed objects into her mouth, which must have severely compounded her fear and feelings of helplessness. The facility was cited for physically abusing the resident and failing to appropriately plan its care. The staff who engaged in the foul care practices were fired.