Widespread neglect, abuse reported in Calif. nursing homes

Under-reported, undertreated bed sores…filthy restrooms and showers….falsified medical records and more; these are just some of the problems encountered, according to reports issued by the state Attorney General’s “Operation Guardians” task force. California Advocates for Nursing Home Residents (CANHR) has obtained and released these unpublished findings through a California Public Records Act request, reports the Los Angeles Times.

From January 2010 to March 2012, Attorney General Kamala Harris sent investigators to conduct surprise nursing home inspections to assess each facility’s compliance with basic sanitation and quality of care. Other problematic findings included residents being left in soiled undergarments for hours and fraudulently billed services.

CANHR has shared the reports with the Department of Public Health for further investigation, but little enforcement action has been taken, according to CANHR advocate Mike Connors. 

The California Association of Health Facilities issued the following statement in response to the investigation by Operation Guardians: "There is no excuse for poor treatment and neglect. However, this report focuses on outliers and does not reflect the high standard of care provided at most of the state's skilled nursing facilities. For perspective, while Operation Guardians identified 14 facilities with health and safety issues, skilled nursing providers care for 300,000 patients each year."

Topics: Advocacy