Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Play

Thousands of U.S. immigrants and allies rallied Tuesday to demand that Congress make a pathway to citizenship; oil and gas drilling bonds could go up in Pennsylvania.

Play

UN Secretary General calls for ban on drones; new book by Politico reports Hunter Biden emails to foreign business leaders; VP Harris condemns treatment of Haitian migrants; and Congress works to avoid a government shutdown.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

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
Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


Environment

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …


Approximately 3% of the 1,500 students in Montgomery County who were screened for behavioral health indicators were found to be at risk of substance use. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…

Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

 

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