A just released audit of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department concludes that the County inappropriately closed nursing home investigations and failed to follow State guidelines on prioritizing complaints. The audit also found that even after nursing home inspectors found serious problems, their supervisors downgraded the severity of findings without any explanation or without discussing the changes with the inspectors as required. In its conclusions, the audit states, “The quality and integrity of investigations is impaired when surveyors’ conclusions are changed without their knowledge.”
This audit follows a previous audit of the County that found a backlog of investigations that, at times, was at 945 cases that had been opened for more than two years. A Kaiser Health News investigation earlier found that Los Angeles County was instructing inspectors to close cases without fully investigating them.
This lack of oversight and accountability by governmental agencies, which is supposed to be the watch dog of the nursing home industry — is dangerous. Without oversight nor enforcement, the continued trends of neglect, abuse and preventable errors in nursing homes leading to serious injuries and death at the cost of our seniors will worsen.
Wendy York and the team at York Law Firm have been handling residents who have been abused or neglected as a part of their elder abuse practice for almost 20 years. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or believe your family has a wrongful death claim, please call our office so that we can investigate your case at 916-643-2200 or contact us online. We are dedicated to representing families whose elders and dependent adults who have been injured, neglected or abused.
To read the audit report, click here: http://auditor.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/ac/reports/latest
To read the L.A. Times article, click here: http://www.latimes.com/local/countygovernment/la-me-nursing-home-audit-20140829-story.html