State Not Providing Nursing Home Data Online
California has not been posting inspection reports and other information about nursing homes on the Internet, despite a 1999 law that requires the Department of Health Services to do so, the Los Angeles Times reports.
DHS spokesperson Lea Brooks said the state received $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study on developing a publicly accessible system but was unable to secure additional funds from the Legislature to complete the project. Brooks said the state is planning to conduct another feasibility study and hopes a Web site will be running by April 2007.
Information about nursing homes' compliance with federal laws is available on the Medicare Web site, but information about compliance with state laws is less readily available, according to the Times. If such information is not provided online, people looking for information on nursing home inspections must identify a regional DHS office with a copy of the nursing home's file and schedule an appointment to review the file with the inspector assigned to that facility.
The California HealthCare Foundation and California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform post nursing home data from DHS on Web sites, but database problems have led DHS to stop "providing most of the information," the Times reports.
CANHR offered to pay for a consultant to write programming that would allow the group to continue posting nursing home information on its Web site.
Louis Nuyens, CANHR's manager of information systems, said DHS has not responded to the offer (Larrubia, Los Angeles Times, 4/26).