800.765.8775

California Community

Bill Aims To Boost Transparency, Oversight of Calif. Nursing Homes

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
03/13/15  11:29 PM PST
Health care quality

From California Healthline

California lawmakers are considering a bill (AB 927) that aims to improve oversight and transparency of the state’s nursing home industry, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The legislation comes after a Bee investigation last year found that California consumers lack information about the ownership and performance of many California nursing homes (Lundstrom,Sacramento Bee, 2/26).

Background on Investigation

Although federal, state and not-for-profit groups track certain information about nursing homes, the investigation found that there is not a single agency that regularly assesses the quality of care provided by nursing home chains. The California Department of Public Health is tasked with overseeing skilled-nursing facilities in the state, but the agency does not measure care quality throughout a chain or try to identify whether corporate policies lead to any patterns.

Further, the Bee found that some firms have complex business structures making it difficult for consumers and government agencies to identify who is running the organizations and who should be held accountable (California Healthline, 11/11/14).

Details of Bill

AB 927, by Assembly member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), would:

  • Establish stricter “suitability requirements” for nursing home owners to prevent those with a history of poor performance from acquiring such facilities;
  • Require DPH to improve data on nursing home ownership that are available on its website; and
  • Clarify that DPH has a duty to oversee and approve any ownership or management changes at nursing homes in the state.

Reaction

The measure has support from California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, which has been pushing for more transparency of nursing home ownership data.

Patricia McGinnis, executive director of CANHR, said, “[T]oo much information is just missing right now,” adding that DPH “has no idea in many, many cases who owns what. Even if they do, they certainly don’t make that information available to the public.”

Read the Full Article at California Healthline.