TESTIMONY GIVEN BY BRENT MOSS March 1, 2002 TO: MEMBERS OF THE SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE AND THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON AGING AND LONG TERM CARE FR: ROB CARTWRIGHT, JR., PRESIDENT RE: JOINT INFORMATIONAL HEARING ON “NURSING HOME CLOSURES, BANKRUPTCIES AND LIABILITY INSURANCE: IS THERE A CRISIS?” Thank you for inviting Consumer Attorney representatives to appear at the March 6 hearing. We look forward to sharing our views with you. We would like to also offer the following comments: The crisis in the nursing home industry is poor care. · As detailed in this past weekend’s New York Times , a new GAO report found “Nursing home residents have suffered serious injuries, or, in some cases, have died as a result of abuse.” As reported in the Times , “physical and sexual abuse of nursing home residents is not being promptly reported to local authorities and is rarely prosecuted, federal investigators say.” · A recent GAO report found “despite federal and state oversight infrastructure currently in place, certain California nursing homes have not been and current are not sufficiently monitored to guarantee the safety and welfare of their residents .... We also found that surveyors can miss problems that affect the safety and health of nursing home residents and that even when such problems are identified, enforcement actions do not ensure that they are corrected and do not occur .... Unacceptable care continues to be a problem in many homes . ” · Abuse is rampant in California nursing homes. “In California, more than 40% of the state’s 1,352 nursing homes were cited for abuse, according to [U.S. Senator] Waxman’s office. In Los Angeles County 37%, of 424 homes were cited.” Los Angeles Times , July 31, 2001
“The report details a range of abuses, including instances of nursing home residents being punched, kicked or choked by staff members. Other abuses included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Some residents also complained of workers groping and sexually assaulting them.” Los Angeles Times , July 31, 2001 “At San Jose’s Courtyard Care Center, inspectors determined that nurses had poorly documented the condition of one patient, saying that she had a foot lesion when in fact she had gangrene and maggots in her wounds.” Los Angeles Times , April 28, 2001 “A woman sharing a nursing home room with Bess Jarvis, 91, told state investigators she heard it all: Slaps twice in the night; the frail Jarivs, who was tied in here bed, saying, ‘What are you hitting me for?’ and ‘Don’t do that, it hurts. By the time Diane Sandell of Dana Point saw her mother, Jarvis had bruises on her forehead and temple, a purpling hand print on her cheek, a blood clot under one eye, a bloody nose and bruises on her chest. She died two weeks later.” The Orange County Register , October 1, 2000 “Of 288 Bay area nursing homes, only 18 were found to be in ‘full or substantial compliance, the report found.” San Francisco Chronicle, August 2, 2000.
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