Barstow Veterans Home Continues to Have Patient Care Problems, Experts Say
After losing its certification sixteen months ago due to "poor patient care and sloppy management," the Barstow veterans home is "still plagued" with similar problems, according to a group of private nursing home experts, the Los Angeles Times reports. Testifying before a state Senate budget subcommittee last week, representatives of Country Villa Health Services -- the company hired by the state to run the facility and qualify it for recertification -- said that "serious issues [remain] unresolved" (Ingram, Los Angeles Times, 11/18). Reviews by a blue ribbon panel from January to August of last year found cases of patients at the home dying from "apparent neglect," and the facility also has failed four certification surveys conducted by the federal government (California Healthline, 5/4). At last week's hearing, Country Villa COO Eldon Teper said that the facility failed to discipline tardy or truant nurses and did not hire and retain experienced employees. Workers at the veterans home also failed to make "swift decisions on urgent patient care issues." Teper said that the home lacked a "culture of compliance" that is necessary for the facility to meet the "fundamentals of patient care." He also told the subcommittee that "no one at the home would accept responsibility for the troubles." State Veterans Affairs officials did not testify at the hearing but said they would file a written statement later. The Department of Health Services, which licenses nursing homes, could announce preliminary recertification recommendations as early as today. The Times reports that if the facility receives a favorable rating, it will be inspected again within 120 days. With a second favorable inspection, the facility would be recertified and be eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal funding (Los Angeles Times, 11/18).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.