Latest California Healthline Stories
Nationally, one in five Medicare patients who leave the hospital for a nursing home end up back in the hospital. In California, one-fifth of the more than 1,200 nursing homes send at least 24 percent of their Medicare patients back to the hospital. To discourage this trend, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will soon give bonuses and penalties to facilities based on their rehospitalization rates.
The scathing report cites a significant increase in cases of poor care — especially ones with the potential to cause serious injuries or death. A state lawmaker called the findings “very, very disturbing.”
State says its new site is easier to navigate, though it remains a work in progress. Advocates for nursing home patients call it “a huge step in the wrong direction” that could endanger people’s lives.
California officials should have obtained federal approval before they cut reimbursement rates for dental hygienists who serve frail Californians living in nursing homes and board-and-care facilities, a judge has ruled.
Increasingly, owners of nursing homes outsource services to companies in which they also have financial interest or control. That allows the nursing homes to claim to be in the red while owners reap hidden profits.
Medicare is discouraging regional offices from levying fines for “one-time mistakes” or from using daily fines that seek to put pressure on nursing homes to make changes.
A Kaiser Health News analysis of federal inspection records shows that nursing home inspectors labeled mistakes in infection control as serious for only 161 of the 12,056 homes they have cited since 2014.
Complaints are rising in California and other states about improper evictions and discharges. Advocates say some patients end up in cheap hotels, homeless or back in the hospital.
Medi-Cal enrollees have an easier time getting into a nursing home if they are coming from the hospital rather than from their homes or from assisted living.
Medicaid covers about two-thirds of nursing home residents, but it pays less than other types of insurance.