California Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse

Whether you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home in Riverside County or elsewhere in Southern California, it is extremely important to pay attention to signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse or neglect. Yet family members and friends alone should not bear the immense responsibility of identifying indicators of abuse or nursing home negligence. Rather, state laws should be in place to protect seniors at skilled nursing facilities from injuries resulting from intentional abuse and passive neglect. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, California lawmakers “are considering several proposals” aimed at making facilities safer, “including changes to nursing home licensing rules.”

Assembly Bill 1502 Would Prevent Nursing Home Owners From Operating Without a License

Did you know that it is actually possible for a nursing home operator to buy a skilled nursing facility and even to run a nursing home in the state of California without obtaining a license to do so? According to the article, the process has been described as “backward and unique to the state.” Indeed, according to California state Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, “in California, nursing home owners and operators can operate without a license even after they have been denied a license.” As a result, Muratsuchi explained, “many of these owners and operators have, unfortunately, an extensive history of neglect and abuse.”

Muratsuchi authored Assembly Bill 1502 in response to this issue, which would change the licensing requirements for nursing home operators in the state. Under the proposed legislation, anyone seeking to operate a nursing home would need to apply for a license to do so at least 120 days prior to even buying a nursing home, and 120 days prior to operating a nursing home. In applying for the license, the prospective nursing home operator would need to provide financial information, as well as details about any co-owners of the facility or any investors. Licenses could be denied if an applicant failed “to meet standards for character, performance in other homes, and the financial ability to run the home,” according to the article.

Pandemic Deaths and the Need to Make a Change

Part of the reason for proposing legislation now concerns the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which patients received inadequate care. Indeed, as state lawmakers and patient safety advocates have reflected on the last two years and the number of nursing home deaths in the state due to COVID-19, they have recognized that nursing homes failed to take necessary precautions to keep residents safe and healthy. 

One of the ways that Californians could ensure that nursing homes have the financial means to provide patients with an appropriate level of care is by requiring licensing. In addition, licensing would help to ensure that owners and operators of nursing homes did not have a history of abuse or safety violations that would be likely to occur again at a new facility in the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Contact a Riverside County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Whether you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect in California, or you need to have a lawyer assess your case and help you to file a claim, our firm can help. One of the experienced Riverside County nursing home neglect attorneys at the Walton Law Firm can speak with you today. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.


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Five Things to Know About Nursing Home Psychological Abuse in Orange County

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