WEBSITES THAT MONITOR NURSING HOMES

1.  California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (www.canhr.org) has a nursing home guide at www.nursinghomeguide.org and is an excellent source relating to advocacy for rights of nursing home residents.  

2.  Medicare has a website relating to choosing a nursing home and information of specific nursing homes at www.medicare.gov/NHcompare

3.  California Nursing Home Search has ratings on various quality measures for specific nursing homes at www.calnhs.org.

4.  Consumer Reports has a Nursing Home Quality Monitor, that lists the best and worst nursing homes in each state, at www.consumerreports.org/cro/health-fitness/nursing-home-guide/nursing-home-quality-monitor/0608_nursing-home-quality-monitor.htm

LAWS REGULATING NURSING HOMES AND RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES FOR THE ELDERLY

1.  The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Protection Act can be found at Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15600 et seq. On the web, the Act is available at www.legalinfo.ca.gov.

2.  The licensing statutes for California nursing homes and long term care facilities are found at California Health & Safety Code § § 1250-1339.70, available at www.legalinfo.ca.gov.  The applicable regulations are found at Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations §§ 72001-72713, available at www.oal.ca.gov.

3.  The licensing statutes for California residential care facilities for the elderly and assisted living facilities are found at California Health & Safety Code §§ 1569-1569.889, available on the web at www.legalinfo.ca.gov. The applicable regulations are found at Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations § § 72001-72713, available at www.ccld.ca.gov.

4.  The Federal Nursing Home Reform Law is found at Title 42 of the United States Code §§ 72001-72713, on the web at http://uscode.house.gov/download/title_42.php

HOW TO LOCATE INFORMATION ABOUT PARTICULAR NURSING HOMES AND RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES

Each nursing home in California is licensed by the California Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification Program (“Licensing”). Their telephone number is 1-800-236-9747. Their website is www.dhs.gov/lnc. Licensing has offices around the state, with locations listed on their website. The branch offices maintain records for each nursing home in that locale, which should include results of annual surveys showing whether the nursing home is understaffed. Licensing, however, has fallen behind in surveying nursing homes, and recent surveys of the facility are not always available. Available surveys should be accessible on the department’s website, but they are not. At the present the only way to look at the Licensing file for a nursing home is to go to the branch office in charge of the nursing home.

Medicare has some on-line survey results of nursing homes on its Nursing Home Compare website. That website is www.medicare.gov/NHcompare. You can look up the website’s file on the nursing home. Medicare includes a section in each entry called, “Nursing Home Staffing.” It will you tell you how that nursing home compares to other nursing homes statewide and nationwide. Does the nursing home have less staff than the state average or more staff? Because most nursing homes are understaffed, this information is not always helpful, but it can give you some idea of how staffing is at that facility.

The Medicare website does not tell you whether there have been any citations issued by the State against the nursing home. Citations are issued for serious violations of nursing home regulations, and they are graded “AA,” “A,” or “B.” California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, CANHR, has a website that gives some information on citations, www.canhr.org. In some cases the information is not up to date, because the licensing agency may not have visited the facility recently.

The California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, Senior Care Program, licenses residential care facilities for the elderly and assisted living facilities (R.C.F.E.s). Their telephone number in Sacramento is 916-657-2592. Their website is  http://ccl.dss.cahwnet.gov. They maintain results of their surveys of RCFEs at their branch offices. Such information is not presently available on the web.

INFORMATION ON THE WEB RELATING TO NURSING HOMES AND ELDER ABUSE

1.  California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (www.canhr.org) has a nursing home guide at www.nursinghomeguide.org and is an excellent source relating to advocacy for rights of nursing home residents.  

2.  Medicare has a website relating to choosing a nursing home and information of specific nursing homes at www.medicare.gov/NHcompare. 

3.  California Nursing Home Search has ratings on various quality measures for specific nursing homes at www.calnhs.org.

4.  Consumer Reports has a Nursing Home Quality Monitor, which lists the best and worst nursing homes in each state, at www.consumerreports.org/cro/health-fitness/nursing-home-guide/nursing-home-quality-monitor/0608_nursing-home-quality-monitor.htm

5.   The National Center on Elder Abuse is a clearinghouse for a variety of information on elder abuse:  http://www.elderabusecenter.org

6.  American Association of Retired Person has a checklist to use when picking a nursing home at www.aarp.org/families/housing_choices.

7.  Consumer Reports has an excellent article on how to pick a nursing home at www.consumerreports.org/cro/health-fitness/health-care/nursing-homes-9-06/choosing-a-nursing-home/0609_nursing-homes_choosing.htm.

8.  National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform has an excellent website for advocacy issues relating to nursing home reform at www.nccnhr.org/default.cfm.