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.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Rick Matros, the CEO of Sun Healthcare Group Inc (SUNH) may soon be charged with murder (malice aforethought) in the death of my mother, Evelyn Calvert. I’d begged him to help, his Medical Director, Dr Stoney pleaded with him to help and quit, and other patient’s families asked for his help. He chose to ignore us for months and sold the facility, never repairing or replacing equipment known to be broken.

My mother was harmed and ultimately died from the callous behavior of the large nursing home chain Sun Healthcare Group inc in a Newport Beach, Calif Sunbridge facility in 2003. In May, 2003, The Office of Statewide Facilities Planning & Development declared the HVAC system needed replacement and the need and urgency was noted on June 4, 2003, “no exceptions”. Yet Sun was never made to replace that equipment, instead they sold this particular facility by November 30, 2003. My mother was harmed when the ventilation system caused her MRSA pneumonia to only exasberate, leading to her death. She also suffered a stroke in October, 2003, from their known broken blood pressure monitor. That stroke she never recovered from, causing her to be unable to swallow for the final nine months of her life. The CEO sent employee Julie Campbell to apologize for him to me, saying they knew about this harm. Yet when I sued years later I was threatened in mediation by a corrupt attorney that I wasn’t getting Rick Matros’ Bentley and they’d rip me a new axxhole and make me out to be a crazy woman if I tried to force the case to a jury trial since we could prove his willful misconduct while in violation of an existing state injunction. I signed a settlement agreement with the intention of returning with the doctor’s testimony for wrongful death. He’d tricked me. I refused to sign any further documents and sued him for malpractice. He died 2 weeks after learning I’d retained the malpractice attorneys to sue him. I won that case against his estate in 2008.

Now I’d like the Attorney General in Orange County, Calif to file murder charges against the CEO and Risk Manager (Rick Matros and Dr Chauncey Hunker) for not protecting my mother in a timely manner.

Deborah Calvert

Newport Beach, Calif

A good start would be to release the names of these care facilities.