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⭒ News & Notes Archive

October 2017

In this Issue

How Many Caregivers Does Your Nursing Home Really Have?

Interested in knowing about RN or weekend staffing levels at a nursing home or how often it falls below California minimum staffing requirements? Data released this week by the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) can help answer these important questions and more. The data is the first installment of nursing home staffing information CMS is collecting pursuant to the Affordable Care Act that is intended to give the public a more complete and accurate picture of actual staffing levels in Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes. Unlike other staffing data reported by nursing homes, the new data is intended to be verifiable through linkages to facility payroll systems that can be audited. CMS plans to integrate the new data into Nursing Home Compare and its nursing home rating system, but for now has released it in a separate data set that reports daily staffing levels at most, but not all, nursing homes.

To make this information more accessible for consumers, the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) downloaded the data for the most recent quarter – the 2nd quarter of 2017 – and computed the hours of care per resident day for all care staff and for RNs. The data compiled by LTCCC and its press release –Does Your Nursing Home Have Enough Care Staff? – are available on its website.

Fresno Nursing Home Sued for Dumping Resident on Sidewalk of Uninhabitable House 

A recently filed lawsuit alleges that Manning Gardens Care Center, a nursing home in Fresno, illegally dumped a 78-year-old resident at her former home, where she had been previously found soiled in vomit and feces, with cockroaches crawling on her and maggots in her wounds. The facility had made no arrangements to ensure the resident would have appropriate care at home, despite her unhealed wounds and extensive care needs. Click here to read the press release and click here to read the lawsuit.

Consumer Alert: Treatment of Disaster Assistance for Medi-Cal Eligibility

This alert is to provide those consumers who are on Medi-Cal — either traditional Medi-Cal or MAGI, the adult Medicaid expansion program through the Affordable Care Act — who were impacted by the recent fires or hurricanes, with information about Medi-Cal beneficiaries’ rights regarding receipt of disaster assistance, as well as information on assistance available for those wishing to apply or recertify for Medi-Cal.
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Where do Patients Go When a Troubled Nursing Home Closes? Often, Nowhere Better

The above title to a compelling new article in the Sacramento Bee sums up the traumatic situation nursing home residents often find themselves in when a neglectful nursing home closes down. All too often, residents are transferred to equally troubled nursing homes, far from their families, friends and everything they hold dear. The October 23, 2017 article examines what became of the residents of Eagle Crest – a Genesis Healthcare owned nursing home with a long history of neglect – after it closed in September.  According to the Bee, nearly half of Eagle Crest’s residents were sent to other Genesis facilities, including several who were sent to a nursing home in Willows with a recent history of severe abuse. Instead of blocking the transfers, the Department of Public Health claims it is powerless to stop closing nursing homes from exposing residents to further neglect and abuse in this manner. 

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Will New Nursing Home Inspection System Bring Same Old Results?

The system California has used to inspect nursing homes for a quarter of a century is about to change. On November 28, 2017, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other state survey agencies throughout the nation will switch to a new nursing home inspection system. The new inspection system is being established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that sets and enforces national standards for nursing homes that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) programs.  
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Lawsuit Takes on Nursing Facility Chain for Illegally Dumping Vulnerable Nursing Facility Residents into Hospitals

AARP and Braunhagey & Borden have filed an important lawsuit to stop a nursing home chain from dumping residents in hospitals.  They vow to file more cases until nursing homes stop this abusive and illegal practice.  
Read their press release here.

Medi-Cal Programs to Help You Stay at Home: Using California’s Spousal Impoverishment Protections

If you are interested in obtaining Medi-Cal to assist with the cost of in-home caregiving, but are worried that your income or assets may be too high, the Spousal Impoverishment Protections described in this new fact sheet may help you. California’s Medi-Cal program pays for a number of “Home and Community Based Services” (HCBS) for individuals who would otherwise require care in a nursing home, but who prefer to remain at home. Recently, the Department of Health Care Services has extended more generous income and asset rules called “spousal impoverishment protections” to couples living at home, when one spouse needs Medi-Cal to pay for HCBS.
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CANHR Honors Super Advocate Lillian Hyatt

CANHR would like to honor, Lillian Hyatt, M.S.W., who is a longtime CANHR friend and advocate and has many years of experience as a columnist, consultant, social worker, and university professor. Lillian has been named as AARP’s policy consultant on Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) in California. Lillian also writes for the NASW California News, and the “CCRC Corner” column for the CANHR Advocate. Thank you Lillian for your dedication to promoting justice for California’s long term care consumers!

 Lillian Hyatt, M.S.W., CANHR Executive Director Patricia McGinnis 

CANHR staff Armando Rafailan, and Pauline Mosher visiting with Lillian