Two California Nursing Homes Receive Highest State Penalties, Fines
The California Department of Public Health has issued AA citations -- the most severe penalty levied by the state -- against two nursing homes in connection with the death of a resident at each facility, the Central Valley Business Times reports.
DPH imposed the maximum fine of $100,000 against Browning Manor Convalescent Hospital in Delano and issued a $90,000 fine to Gramercy Court nursing home in Sacramento (Central Valley Business Times, 10/25).
California issued the fine against Browning Manor after a state investigation determined that inadequate patient care contributed to the death of a resident in 2009. A spokesperson for the nursing home said an appeals process is underway (Mayer, Bakersfield Californian, 10/25).
The fine against Gramercy Court stems from an investigation finding that insufficient safety protections contributed to the death of a resident in 2007 (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 10/26).
State To Audit Nursing Homes
In related news, a budget trailer bill (SB 853) signed last week aims to increase scrutiny of care quality, staffing levels and patient satisfaction at nursing homes throughout California, "California Watch Blog" reports.
The new law calls for state officials to audit nursing homes and determine whether staffing levels meet minimum standards. Nursing homes that fall below the requirements will face fines, while facilities that meet or exceed certain standards could receive incentive payments.
The new law also allocates $1.9 million for an ombudsman program that investigates complaints from nursing home residents (Jewett, "California Watch Blog," 10/26).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.