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San Diego County, California

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Randy Walton
Randy Walton
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Nearly Half of California Nursing Homes Do Not Meet Federal Standards

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Medicare and Medicaid released a report this week listing nursing homes and hospitals from around the country that have fallen below benchmarks set for patient restraints, bedsores, and surgical infections. Of the 1400 California nursing homes, 674 made the list.

The purpose in releasing the specific nursing homes was to hold accountable the private contractors hired by Medicare and Medicaid to monitor quality standards and health care facilities the receive Medicare payments.

San Francisco-based Lumetra has monitored quality standards at California health care facilities that receive Medicare payments since 1984. Medicare and Medicaid spokesman Peter Ashkenaz said his agency released its facility lists to hold companies such as Lumetra more accountable for the work they do

This list is a tool to manage the quality-improvement organizations,” Ashkenaz said. “This is not about facilities. This does not mean these are bad facilities.

It may not mean the facilities are bad, but it clearly means that nursing home residents are being neglected to some degree. Like most standards, the Federal standards are meant to be the minimum standards; the hope being that facilities will not just meet them, but exceed them. The unfortunate reality is that most facilities use the prevailing standards as the standard of care they are to provide, and just barely meet them, when for some residents the minimum standards will not do.

For the names of all San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino nursing facilities that made the list visit Medicare’s website.