County Working To Stem Long-Term Care Abuse Amid State Inaction
Supervisor Greg Cox said the county took action because it could not wait for state officials to take action.
Details of San Diego Initiatives
For example, the San Diego District Attorney's Office in March created a special investigative unit to identify and prosecute cases of abuse at long-term care facilities.
Since its creation, the division has investigated 113 cases of possible abuse, according to U-T San Diego. An additional 56 cases are pending, while 50 have been dropped because of a lack of evidence. However, the DA's office said that it has been opening at least two new cases weekly.
Paul Greenwood, the prosecutor who handles such cases, said that "before the unit began, we rarely prosecuted any facility crimes because we rarely heard about them."
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said abuse cases also are more likely to be reported because of an increase in communication between the:
- State Attorney General's Office;
- State's Community Care Licensing Division; and
- San Diego County ombudsmen.
Other recent initiatives to stem abuse in long-term care facilities in the area include:
- A new hotline to report cases of abuse, which was announced Wednesday;
- Collaboration with facilities to create a voluntary quality of care rating system; and
- Staff increases in San Diego County's ombudsman program.
According to County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, 20 companies so far are participating in the rating system project. She added that the website could be launched by the end of the year (Stewart, U-T San Diego, 5/4).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.