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Snapshot: California's Fragile Nursing Home Industry, 2005

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Publication Date: August 2005

Publisher(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Author(s): Charlene Harrington; Janis O'Meara

Topic: Health (Hospitals and other health care facilities)

Type: Brief

Coverage: California

Abstract:

This snapshot report examines nursing home care in California and uncovers problems with staffing, quality of care, regulatory compliance, and financial stability. The report notes serious problems in California's nursing homes:

*Only a small percentage of the state's freestanding nursing homes meet the standards recommended for staffing levels to provide good nursing care. *Continuing high staff turnover threatens quality of care. More than two-thirds of the nursing staff in California's nursing homes left their jobs in 2003. *Many residents show clinical signs of poor care as a result of being left in bed all or most of the time, or being placed in physical restraints. *Most nursing homes do not meet government compliance standards for care and safety. About 15% of homes were cited for very serious quality of care problems or substandard care, which causes harm or jeopardy to the health of residents. Some 77% had serious noncompliance with federal care and safety regulations during their most recent mandatory inspection. *Half of the state's nursing homes reported negative or zero profit margins.

The snapshot illustrates the state of California's long-term care facilities as they face growing demands and diminishing resources. The number of Californians age 65 and older is projected to nearly double by 2025--a larger growth rate than any other state.