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New California mandate seeks to reform nursing home inspections

| Sep 16, 2020 | Long-term Care Facility Neglect |

From state mandates prohibiting visitors to concerning rates of illness this Summer, 2020 has been a tough year for nursing homes. In light of the burden, California seeks to reform state inspector roles.

But as The Sacramento Bee reports, nursing home inspectors have issues with the order.

Consulting instead of enforcement

While the new job duties still allow inspectors to write up citations, the Department of Public Health announced that they now require inspectors to participate in a new program designed for them to “adopt” nursing homes. This would mean inspectors have a continuous presence designed around collaboration and advisement rather than evaluation and penalty fees.

A spokeswoman remarks that when surveyors look for problems, they find problems and that this new standard asks them to look for solutions instead.

Pushback on the order

Nursing home inspectors feel this is a conflict of interest. Many do not believe advisement on health and safety practices from the state is the answer. They reference the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act as a preceding provision that prevents consulting to keep their relationship with administrators impartial.

Inspectors state that a large fallacy to this move is that nursing home employees might adhere to state-mandated lessons. They say person signing their paycheck has the most sway. Inspectors believe that it is the facility’s place to train the employees — it is the state inspectors’ place to evaluate said training and safety of the nursing home.

The fallout of oversight and neglect

Families, when they discover neglect, deserve the justice that comes with holding nursing homes accountable. With this new order, it may or may not improve conditions. Should inspector reporting slip, it falls to other resources and litigation to make sure that elderly family members receive quality health care.