Sunday, October 24, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Hearing, Rallies Today on Bill to Reform CA Nursing Homes

Play

Tuesday, July 13, 2021   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As the legislative session in Sacramento comes to a close, lawmakers will consider a bill to require nursing homes to better account for the billions of taxpayer dollars they take in each year.

The State Assembly Committee on Health will hear Senate Bill 650, to require nursing homes to provide detailed financial reports that include transactions with any vendors in which they own more than a 5% interest.

Sen. Henry Stern, D-Los Angeles, sponsored the bill.

"Unless we actually know the nature of these related-party transactions, there's an ability to erect a very insidious shell game," Stern asserted. "Moving money around, and not knowing where it is; that we could be seeing billions of dollars in waste and abuse."

Opponents of the bill said it puts too big a regulatory burden on an industry that's reeling from COVID-19. Rallies in support of the bill, and the care economy in general, take place today in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Blanca Castro, senior manager of advocacy for AARP California, said COVID exposed longstanding problems with short staffing. She noted state data showed more than 110,000 nursing home residents and staff had become infected as of May.

"The time is now to hold to nursing home operators accountable," Castro argued. "Over 9,000 lives were lost; that includes residents and staff."

Arnulfo De La Cruz, executive vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which represents nursing home staff, said some nursing-home corporations use what he called "accounting tricks" with affiliated companies to extract profits from rent, supplies and more.

"Shining a light on the lack of transparency by some of California's largest nursing-home employers is a fundamental step towards our vision for a long term care system that puts care first, not profit," De La Cruz emphasized.

Tony Chicotel, staff attorney for the nonprofit California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said the concerns predate the pandemic.

"Nursing homes know their costs. They know their profits, and the state simply doesn't," Chicotel contended. "This lack of transparency results in the state getting ripped off, paying for the private jets and vacation homes of nursing-home owners, instead of the staff and resources critical for resident well-being."

A recent state auditor's report found from 2006 to 2015, three of the state's biggest nursing-home corporations grew substantially, and their related-party transactions soared, even as deficiencies that caused serious harm or death to residents increased by 35%.

Disclosure: AARP California contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021