Assembly Panel OKs Bill To Boost Safety at Long-Term Care Facilities
On Tuesday, the state Assembly Committee on Health unanimously passed a bill (AB 1816) by Assembly Member Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) that requires the state to complete investigations of complaints of suspected abuse at long-term health care facilities in a more timely manner, the Daily Democrat reports (Daily Democrat, 4/3).
Last month, the California Legislature's Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved Yamada's request to audit the state's management of long-term health care facilities.
The audit was requested after lawmakers received reports about a backlog of complaints at long-term care facilities.
At a January oversight hearing held by the Assembly Committee on Health and the Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, a health department official said the state has a backlog of about 700 long-term care investigations that are more than one year old. However, Patricia McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, testified that state employees said there are more than 10,000 backlogged investigations.
Yamada proposed AB 1816 in response to the hearing. It would require the state to complete such investigations within 40 days (California Healthline, 3/13).
Supporters of the measure include the:
- California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform;
- California Association of Health Facilities;
- California Communities United Institute;
- California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association; and
- Consumer Federation of California.
The bill now goes to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
In a statement, Yamada said, "I am pleased that we are one step closer to ensuring that residents in our nursing homes are in a safe and secure environment." She added, "When a concern is raised about a resident at risk, we must act swiftly to investigate the matter in order to improve our state's commitment to providing quality care to those who are among our most vulnerable population" (Daily Democrat, 4/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.