There are very specific laws regulating nursing homes located in California. Each facility must be properly licensed, inspected, and certified, through several different agencies which work on both a state and federal level. This stringent oversight is designed to help prevent nursing home abuse and neglect. All nursing home facilities and regulations are handled by the California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Division. This department is designed to ensure any facilities that accept payments through Medi-Cal, Medicare, or Medicaid will comply with all regulations for proper resident care.
California nursing home laws cover four requirements that are considered to be basic to the care of residents who are living in a nursing facility. These four things include:
The nursing home must also meet certain requirements for Title 22 licensing, which we will discuss next.
Title 22 is a California law that outlines the requirements every nursing home must follow in the state of California. Anytime there is a concern of abuse or neglect, it is vital that the attorney hired on the part of the family have specific experience with Title 22, which outlines how the nursing home handles patient living. This law covers such things as:
If a nursing home fails to handle these things properly, then they could be at risk of lawsuits as well as problems with their certification.
California also adopted at act called the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. Made into law in 1990, it has helped to lower the number of cases of nursing home abuse. Patients who have been abused can get the help of an attorney to seek punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees to help thwart the abuse activity in the future. This act defines nursing home abuse as a civil action, which means more damages can be sought after.
Laws in California also ensure that any nursing home resident has the right to a certain standard of care, which includes proper nutrition. Proper diets must be provided and patients should always be given a supply of liquids to avoid dehydration. Additionally, standards of care indicate that all nursing home residents have the proper assistance for hygiene, including clean linens and clothing, eating, bathing, and the brushing of teeth. If these standards of care are not met, then the nursing home is legally responsible and could be cited. Additionally, this could be grounds for a lawsuit in an abuse case.
The state of California provides a number of laws in order to help prevent nursing home abuse. That is because so many cases are reported or go unreported every year. It is vital that as many of these cases are handled as quickly as possible. Loved ones of patients should seek an attorney that has specific experience with nursing home abuse cases as well as state laws in California to ensure the nursing home is properly penalized.