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Opinion: California turns a blind eye to nursing home abuses

Yet more damning evidence has just emerged of the dangers, neglect and abuse that our most vulnerable citizens face in nursing homes around the country.

He added, a California judge has just criticized the state government for being “consistent,” “endemic” and “statewide” in its investigation of complaints and allegations against homes — failing failure, which means nursing home residents across America’s largest state face “an imminent threat of death or bodily harm. ”

Meanwhile, a new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that even as private equity firms buy more nursing homes, the quality of care in those homes tends to go down – and the associated emergency room costs to the population also increased.

Let’s start with the extraordinary ruling in California. A state Superior Court has ruled that the Department of Public Health, which is supposed to protect nursing home residents and promptly investigate all allegations of abuse and neglect, failed to do so. there. The court found that the department had a backlog of more than 5,000 complaints, many of which date back to 2018. The department tried to blame the pandemic but, according to the state auditor, was before the pandemic. , from January 2019 to March. In 2020, “the average age of pending investigations nearly doubled”.

The auditor added that since three months ago, the department has not yet implemented the recommendations it made in 2014.

Under California law, there is a clear legal timeframe for investigating nursing home complaints. The Department must open an investigation within 10 days of receiving the complaint. The agency must complete the investigation within the external limit of 120 days and generally within 60. However, for the 2018-9 financial year, the department still had 5,286 incomplete investigations and 2,351 investigations. has been open for more than a year, according to the court. During the 2019-20 financial year, there were 5,663 investigations still open, of which 2,351 were open over a year.

Judge Ethan Schulman of the Superior Court ruled: “The record demonstrates the defendant’s inability to meet the statutory deadlines. These are “not isolated incidents and the respondent’s inability to meet statutory deadlines is institutional and enduring.”

The ruling comes as a result of a lengthy legal campaign by the nonprofit Aging Aid, which helps nursing home residents and their families in abuse cases. and abandoned.

Judge Schulman ordered the department to put in place a written plan to begin complying with the law.

The Department of Public Health, in an email, said it “does not comment on pending litigation.”

California will not be the only state where this scandal has taken place.

As for the new JAMA report: private equity funds now own about 5% of all nursing homes and this number is growing. An analysis of privately owned homes found that in the second quarter of this year alone, residents were likely to have to go to hospital emergency rooms for preventable conditions (known as “medical conditions”). sensitivity to ambulance care”) was 11% and more than 9%. likely to require hospitalization for such conditions.

Private equity funds are known for their sole focus on improving shareholder returns by cutting costs as well as maximizing revenue. Fund managers receive huge bonuses (and tax exemptions) for making the most of their investments. And privately owned companies, because they are not listed on a stock exchange, are largely shielded from public scrutiny.

Ironically, some of the biggest investors in private equity are public sector pension funds and university endowments that like to brag about their “environmental, social and governance” profiles. ” or their ESG. They won’t own the oil reserves, but there seems to be no problem profiting from the abuse of the elderly.

It goes without saying but this is not a technique. Nursing home residents are the most vulnerable people in America: They are even more vulnerable to abuse than children, because they will never grow up to demand justice against their abusers. The catastrophic number of nursing home deaths over the past 20 months raises questions about how effectively they are being protected or prioritized.

While there has been a lot of public hand over the Covid nursing home death, how sincere is it? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ultimately resigned for sexually harassing some, but not for covering up thousands of nursing home deaths (or ordering Covid patients back home). Indeed he landed his $5 million book deal after presiding over thousands of nursing home deaths.

Not long ago Florida nursing home assistant Jonah Delgado has escaped any prison sentence, even after being caught on camera physically abusing an 88-year-old man.

FATE has been fighting for years to get this legal ruling in California, and the head of the nonprofit, Carole Herman, said she receives calls daily from grieving loved ones around the land. water.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Luck growing up will only happen to other people, right?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/california-turns-a-blind-eye-to-nursing-home-abuses-11638213854?rss=1&siteid=rss Opinion: California turns a blind eye to nursing home abuses

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