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⭒ News & Notes Archive

November 2016

In this Issue

New Federal Nursing Home Regulations Take Effect

The first phase of revised federal nursing home regulations took effect on November 28, 2016, implementing numerous changes to the federal standards that have been in place since 1991. The new regulations are a mixed bag for nursing home residents that affect almost every aspect of life in a nursing home. Unfortunately, the most important new requirement – a ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements – has been stayed by a federal court order in Mississippi ruling on behalf of the American Health Care Association.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care published a summary of key changes to some of the requirements, including regulatory sections on Residents Rights; Freedom from Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation; and Admission, Transfer and Discharge Rights.

Nursing Home Closure Plans Reversed in Eureka

The nursing home crisis in Humboldt County triggered by Shlomo Rechnitz’s decision to close three of the five freestanding skilled nursing facilities in the County took a dramatic turn for the better with his November 7th announcement that he had rescinded plans to close two of the three nursing homes. Reportedly, Seaview and Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Centers will remain open and only Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness Center will close. This reversal is very good news for current residents of these facilities, who were facing possible transfers to nursing homes hundreds of miles away. Mr. Rechnitz had seemingly used their lives as bargaining chips while seeking higher Medi-Cal rates for the nursing homes. Senator Mike McGuire described the situation as “a completely avoidable crisis brought on by a billion dollar corporation that has consistently put profits over people.”
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National Analysis Finds Nursing Home Compare Staffing Data Often Wildly Inaccurate

On October 26, 2016, PennLive reported that its national analysis of 11,000 nursing homes found that nearly half had registered nursing (RN) levels on Nursing Home Compare that were 50 percent higher than shown in their federal reimbursement reports. The PennLive report, Think your nursing home is understaffed? It’s probably worse than it looks, is part of its continuing series, Failing the Frail

The analysis found that nearly half of nursing homes across the nation appear to be significantly inflating their RN staffing levels on Nursing Home Compare.
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NPR Reports on Death of San Francisco Nursing Home Resident

On November 27, 2016, NPR Weekend Edition Sunday reported that hospitalized patients unknowingly end up in substandard nursing homes where they suffer bed sores, infections and other types of neglect because hospitals usually fail to warn them about dangerous nursing homes or guide them to better ones.
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U.S. Dementia Rates are Dropping

A large national survey recently published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that dementia rates across the United States are actually dropping, with a 24 percent reduction between 2000 and 2012 in dementia rates for Americans aged 65 and older. Read the full New York Times article, U.S. Dementia Rates are Dropping Even as Population Ages.

San Francisco Veteran’s Benefits Protection Project Launched

CANHR Senior Staff Attorney Prescott Cole was a founding member of the San Francisco Veterans Benefits Protection Project (VBPP), a coalition working to protect senior veterans from pension poaching scams and professional financial predators. The Coalition brings together a variety of organizations, including CANHR, the Institute on Aging’s Elder Abuse Prevention Program, the Office of the Attorney General, and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office.

CANHR Senior Staff Attorney Prescott Cole at the VBPP launch at San Francisco City Hall on November 10, 2016. From left to right: Neil Granger, Elder Financial Abuse Consultant; Dave Jones, California’s Insurance Commissioner; Kimberly Swierenga, Esq.; Prescott Cole, Esq.; Shawna Reeves, Director of Elder Abuse Prevention, Institute on Aging.

CANHR’s 20th Annual Elder Law Conference: Justice and Advocacy in 2016

A sold out conference welcomed attorneys from throughout California to CANHR’s 20th Annual Elder Law Conference at the beautiful Monterey Plaza Hotel in Monterey on November 18 & 19, 2016.

The 10th annual William F. Taylor Memorial Award was presented to Litigation attorney, Frank Fox, Esq. of Majors and Fox in San Diego In recognition of his work in promoting justice for elder financial abuse victims and quality care for California’s long term care consumers.

CANHR is particularly grateful to Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, the Consumer Attorneys Public Interest Foundation, Phil Lindsley & Staff with the San Diego Elder Law Center, the Northern California Chapter of NAELA, the Law offices of Michael Moran, the Southern California Council of Elder Law Attorneys, for their sponsorship and to Anne McGowan, Esq., Moran Law, Mark Redmond, Esq., Kevin Staker, Esq. and Michael Thamer, Esq. for helping to underwrite scholarships for legal services program staff.

All participants were invited to the Meet the Speakers reception on Friday evening with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. As always, CANHR’s Annual Elder Law Conference was a wonderful learning and networking experience. See you next year!

Give to CANHR this holiday season!

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