Bill Would Increase State’s Role in Nursing Home Oversight
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – This week, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D–Sacramento) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 927, which would establish additional oversight and transparency for nursing home ownership. Specifically, AB 927 would clarify the California Department of Public Health’s (DPH) duty to review and approve changes of nursing home ownership and management at the corporate structure, improves DPH’s ability to share nursing home ownership information to provide consumer protection, and prevents persons and/or companies with poor track records from acquiring nursing homes by strengthening suitability of ownership requirements.
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that our seniors, who are often at their most fragile and vulnerable in nursing home settings, are protected,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “It is in the best interest of the State to protect consumers and prevent existing owners with a bad track record from licensing them to open additional facilities. Consumers can’t even determine from the Department’s website who owns each home – it’s a lack of transparency that just isn’t appropriate.”
In October 2014, the California State Auditor released an audit criticizing DPH’s deficient management of investigation of complaints related to long-term health care facilities. To protect the health and safety of residents of these facilities, the audit recommended that DPH establish a formal process to track and monitor the progress of complaints against facilities.
Last year, a three-part series published by the Sacramento Bee entitled “Nursing Homes Unmasked,” found that consumers remain largely in the dark about the ownership of many California’s skilled nursing homes. Many of the state and national databases, which were meant to help consumers make informed choices, were either difficult to manage or lacking in basic information. Sponsored by the California Advocates for Nursing Home