Can Historic Nursing Home Bills Help Toughen Oversight?
For the first time, 10 bills that tighten oversight of nursing homes are headed to California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.
According to the Center for Health Reporting, this is the most sweeping package of reforms since regulations relating to nursing and assisted living facilities were first enacted in 1985.
New Laws Focus on Better Enforcement
One bill increases civil penalties from $150 to $15,000 if poor care leads to the death of a resident.
Two of the bills require more rigorous training for staff members at the 7,570 homes in the state. A fourth creates a Bill of Rights for those in assisted living homes, similar to the law for patients in nursing homes.
Nursing home advocates say, if these bills are signed, it could be a “historic” event. They also say it can help provide stronger oversight and prevent abuse and neglect in nursing homes.
Legislators however blocked two important bills. One of those required the Department of Social Services to post online all inspection reports and related documents for every facility in the state.
The other bill that was blocked would have required the department to inspect facilities every year instead of every five years as the law currently requires.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Recent studies and reports show that one in five of all nursing home residents are abused or neglected by staff members. Oversight and enforcement in California nursing homes is woefully inadequate.
Hopefully when these bills become laws, they will serve as a warning and as a deterrent to nursing homes that seek to cut corners and shortchange their residents.
As a legal practice that represents victims of nursing home neglect and abuse, we will be following news about passage of these bills.
We see too many victims who have suffered severe abuse or neglect as a result of facilities that put profits before people. These are homes that keep their facilities understaffed so they can make more money.
Nursing homes in California also get millions from Medicare and Medicaid, but not much of that funding ever goes into putting quality staff members in place so residents can receive better care.
If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, please contact an experienced California nursing home attorney who will stand up and fight for your rights while holding the negligent parties accountable.
The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.