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⭒ News & Notes Archive

March 2016

In this Issue

Complaint Reports Against RCFEs Now Available Online

Checking on the regulatory performance of assisted living facilities continues to improve. Community Care Licensing, the division of the Department of Social Services (DSS) that inspects assisted living facilities and responds to complaints, has now uploaded all Complaint Reports from January 2016 forward onto its Facility Search website. Current and prospective residents and their family members should greatly benefit from this new information about facility performance. Unfortunately, to review complaints made prior to January 2016, consumers will still have to travel to remote DSS regional offices to review a facility’s paper file. Click here to check on a facility’s regulatory history.
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Medicare Beneficiaries Still Denied Coverage Due to Illegal Use of Improvement Standard

On March 1, 2016 the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Vermont Legal Aid filed a Motion to require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to enforce the settlement of the landmark Medicare case, Jimmo v. Sebelius. Jimmo, brought on behalf of a nationwide class of Medicare beneficiaries who were denied coverage and access to care because they did not show sufficient potential for “improvement,” was settled in 2012. Despite the settlement, CMS has continued to deny coverage and care based on the improvement standard.
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Trial Begins in Whistleblower Lawsuit Against DPH on Charges State Investigator was Forced to Close Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Investigations

On March 15, a jury in San Diego began hearing a major whistleblowing case in which a nurse investigator for the Department of Public Health reports supervisors forced her to close investigations of abuse and of neglect leading to the death of nursing home residents. In her opening testimony, the whistleblower, Rose Espiritu, testified she was illegally pressured to close complaint cases without proper investigations. CANHR has had longstanding concerns about the mismanagement of the San Diego District office of the Department of Public Health, which is the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.
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U.S. Senator Asks Regulators to Take Action to Stop Abuse Against Nursing Home Resident’s on Social Media

A U.S. Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., sent a letter to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, urging them to take action against nursing homes whose workers were taking degrading and dehumanizing photos of residents and posting them on social media. The Senator referenced the recent Propublica story that identified 23 incidents of posts by employees of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, all violating the patient’s privacy and documenting the mistreatment and abuse of residents.
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Department of Justice Launches Regional Nursing Home Task Forces including Northern California

The Department of Justice recently announced its launch of 10 Regional Elder Justice Task Forces which includes representatives from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, state and local prosecutors’ offices, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state Adult Protective Services agencies, Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs and law enforcement. The task force will coordinate and enhance efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents. 
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Upcoming Events


Medi-Cal & Medi-Cal Recovery Training in Los Angeles on April 22, 2016

If you are working in nursing home admissions, hospital discharge planning or with elders in the community, it is imperative that you have current, accurate information about Medi-Cal Eligibility and Recovery. This training will provide a three-hour overview of the application process, eligibility rules, and how to avoid Medi-Cal Recovery.

April 22, 2016
10:00am – 1:00pm
Magnolia Place
1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Price: $30 regular  ($25 for existing SWAP Members and students)
CEU Credits: 3 Hours

Webinar Series for Social Workers, Discharge Planners, and Other Professionals Working with Elders in the Community

All sessions are scheduled from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and are certified for 1.0 hour of CEU credits.
Tuition: $20 per training or $50 for the series of three. For SWAP Members: $15 per training or $40 for the series of three.

  • Wednesday, May 4, 2016: Capacity & Conservatorships
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016: Hospital & SNF Discharge Rights
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2016: Navigating the Medi-Cal Maze