Nursing homes accused of misspending funding
April 18, 2010
Nursing homes in California have received about $880 million in additional government funding since the passage of a 2004 state law designed to help them hire additional caregivers and increase wages. [CaliforniaWatch]
However, a California Watch investigation found that 232 care facilities that received the additional monies elected instead to use the funds to boost their bottom lines while cutting staff, letting staffing numbers fall below state mandated levels and lowering wages.
About 26 of the nursing homes that made the deepest caregiver cuts while receiving government assistance, were found to have been providing a lower quality of care than other state facilities. Problems in patient care included giving out the wrong medications and neglecting bedsores.
“There was an implicit good faith agreement that things would get better … and that was broken,” state Sen. Elaine Alquist said to California Watch. “It was broken for the people of California and for a very vulnerable population – those that need the greatest care and those that can’t advocate for themselves.”