CALIFORNIA AG IN SETTLEMENT WITH SKILLED HEALTHCARE GROUP

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the California Attorney General’s Office and received
via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
News Release
February 15, 2013
For Immediate Release 
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Settlement Requiring
Improved Staffing Levels at Nursing Home Chain 
LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced
a settlement with Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. that will
require court-enforceable improvements of staffing levels and
quality of care at the chain’s 20 facilities. The nursing homes
are comprised of 2,360 beds throughout California, most of which
are in the Los Angeles region. 
The agreement empowers Attorney General Harris to appoint an
independent monitor who will ensure compliance with California’s
staffing laws and conduct an ongoing evaluation of quality of
care and staffing sufficiency at all of Skilled’s 20 facilities. 
“This is a case about neglect and abuse of California’s elders
by a facility that was supposed to protect and care for them,”
said Attorney General Harris. “This agreement ensures that the
elderly occupying Skilled’s 2,360 beds will receive better and
higher quality care. At a time when California’s elderly
population is growing twice as fast as the general population,
family and friends should have peace of mind that their loved
ones are being well cared for when they are in a nursing home
setting.” 
The independent monitor will make regular reports to the
Attorney General and conduct surprise inspections of Skilled’s
nursing homes for two years. The cost of the monitor, estimated
to be $350,000 a year, will be paid for by Skilled. 
The Attorney General’s enforcement action stems from 76
citations and 209 deficiencies issued by the California
Department of Public Health to Skilled’s nursing facilities from
2008 to 2012. Specifically, the citations and deficiencies were
issued because of Skilled’s failure to prevent pressure ulcers,
dehydration, malnutrition, over-medication and medication
errors, deficient catheter care, urinary incontinence, and naso-gastric feeding care practices. 
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Justice
Department’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA).
Attorney General Harris has created specialized BMFEA teams in
Sacramento and Los Angeles composed of legal and nursing
professionals to combat abuse, neglect and poor quality of care
in California’s nursing homes. 
Earlier this week, Attorney General Harris charged a Sacramento-area residential care provider with manslaughter for negligence
that directly led to a patient’s death. In January, Attorney
General Harris announced a three year state prison sentence for
a nurse who pled no contest to “convenience drugging.” 
Skilled and its subsidiaries operate nursing homes in Fresno,
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Santa Barbara counties. 
A complete list of the facilities and the settlement document
can be seen at: 
http://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-announces-settlement-requiring-improved 
For more information, please contact (415) 703-5837 
(kgt)NY 
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