According to an investigation by the Sacramento Bee regarding troubled nursing homes, patients in a troubled nursing home that is closing are often taken to another troubled nursing home that may be worse than the one closing. According to a Sacramento Bee analysis of federal data, Genesis HealthCare Inc., one of the nation’s largest nursing home chains, has a string of nursing homes in California that tend to have more serious problems and worse federal ratings than other skilled nursing facilities in the state. According to documents from the California Department of Public Health, a March inspection of one Genesis facility in Willows, 85 miles northwest of Sacramento, revealed that a certified nurse assistant with a known criminal history of abusing others had gone on to abuse, neglect and mistreat five residents at the facility. Michael Connors of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, based in San Francisco, stated,
Moving residents from one troubled nursing home to another puts their lives at risk. It should never happen.
Federal inspectors found 44 serious deficiencies at Genesis’ California homes during the last three and a half years for violations that caused actual harm, or immediate jeopardy, to the health and safety of patients. It turns out that the rate of serious deficiencies per 1,000 beds at Genesis homes was about 60 percent higher than the rate at other California nursing homes during that same time period. According to documents from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Genesis’ business model is built on accepting the sickest and most fragile residents, which means that those patients also come with the highest Medicare reimbursement rates. The Sacramento Bee found that nurse staffing levels at Genesis’ traditional nursing homes in California were below the statewide average. The findings by the Sacramento Bee are shocking and hopefully the state can step in and inspect the nursing home facilities to make sure that the patients are fine and to get them some help if needed.