Calif. Long-Term Care Facility Database Is Out-of-Date, Inadequate
A California Department of Social Services database that provides information on long-term care facilities in the state is out-of-date and lacks important information on inspection statuses and violations that have incurred at some facilities, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Details of Problems With DSS Database
Currently, the DSS database of long-term care facilities lists:
- Contact information; and
- Licensing statuses.
However, that information is months out-of-date in some instances, according to the Times.
In addition, DSS spokesperson Michael Weston said to receive detailed information on facilities, families must contact the department and ask staff members to:
- Mail information to them;
- Read files over the phone; or
- Put aside facility reports so they can visit in person to look at records.
Weston said the department cannot afford to compile all of the information on a public database.
Patricia McGinnis, spokesperson for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, called DSS' database "a mess" and said, "The history of bureaucratic red tape and excuses is no longer viable."
Assembly member Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) -- who is working on the package of bills to overhaul long-term care facilities -- said, "There are always going to be budget constraints no matter what we talk about," adding that creating a better DSS database will not "be a problem."
InsideBayArea.com Launches Public Database
Meanwhile, InsideBayArea.com recently requested data from DSS on facilities':
- Inspections; and
However, the organization's request was denied after DSS said it would take four years and $30,000 to compile such data (Nelson/Willis , Contra Costa Times, 2/15).
DSS did release a list of fines against state assisted-living facilities for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, which InsideBayArea.com compiled into a new public online database.
The database does not include specific information about the fines incurred. Observers must contact DSS for additional details about the fines (Willis/Nelson , Contra Costa Times, 2/15).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.