Nursing Homes Ask to Be Exempt from Rolling Blackouts
The California Association of Health Facilities is asking the California Public Utilities Commission to exempt the state's 1,300 skilled nursing homes from rolling blackouts this summer because many of their 140,000 residents rely on electrically powered medical devices, the Sacramento Bee reports. Hospitals already are exempt from blackouts. William Hunt, administrator of the West Sacramento-based Somerset Nursing Center, said, "It is vital we have a continuous power supply to our facilities." Richard Thorpe, administrator of Carmichael-based SunBridge Fountainview Care Center, added, "Lives are at stake." Thorpe said that battery backups for life-supporting medical devices last only one hour and emergency generators power only evacuation lights, call lights and telephones. PUC is expected to make a decision by May 14 (Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 5/2).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.