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LA Times: Nursing Home Oversight Overhaul Is On Its Way
According to Abby Sewell at the Los Angeles Times, L.A. County and State officials are “preparing to realign nursing home inspection and oversight duties as part of a drive to better manage a chronic backlog of investigations into complaints of abuse and neglect.” This is big news for Los Angeles nursing homes – and their residents – as change is on the way. But, is that change good or bad?
Some resident advocates say that the changes in oversight will likely do little to drive better results, and could even make patient care worse, due to possible mismanagement of the proposed shift. While the proposed budget would increase county funding to address enforcement programs in nursing homes, it would also limit county responsibilities and liabilities for policing such deficiencies. As L.A. is the only county in California that is contracted to conduct yearly inspections of nursing homes and hospitals, the enforcement programs are riddled by delays. In L.A. County alone, there are more than 10,000 open complaints and self-reported incidents – and 2,700 of those cases have been open for more than 2 years, with no resolution in sight.
So, what is the problem – and why so many delays? Well, the county currently receives $26.9 million a year for their inspection and investigation program, while county officials say that they would need at least twice that amount, as well as an additional 150 employees, to responsibly fund the program. A spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health declined to comment on the proposed contract discussions, but you can follow the story and read the full article here at LA Times.
LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-nursing-home-complaints-20150428-story.html