CANHR has reviewed the various federal and California guidance regarding visitation in long term care facilities and synthesized the rules into a new fact sheet to guide residents and their families. The fact sheet highlights the types of visitation nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly must provide and under what conditions as well as the infection control protocols facilities may impose during visits. Download the Fact Sheet HERE (PDF)
On June 26, the California Department of Public Health released a new policy regarding visitation that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES nursing homes to permit visitors for outdoor and indoor visits. Facilities MUST permit outdoor visitation unless there is a local public health order that prohibits it. Indoor visits must be permitted if a facility meets six criteria: no current COVID-19 outbreak, a decline in cases in the community, no new COVID-19 cases in the facility for the past 14 days, no staffing shortages and not using a COVID-19 staffing waiver, an adequate testing plan per AFL 20-53, and an approved COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.
On June 26, the California Department of Social Services released updated guidance regarding visitation in PIN 20-23-ASC that, for the first time since March, REQUIRES assisted living facilities to permit visitors under specified narrow circumstances, and permits indoor and outdoor visitation when certain criteria are met. Providers are required to follow the guidance unless there are contradictory or stricter requirements imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), or local health departments.
A recent podcast from the Long Term Care Community Coalition takes on the tragedy of the visitation ban in long term care facilities. CANHR Staff Attorney Tony Chicotel and CANHR’s #VisitationSavesLives campaign is featured in the podcast. The episode is called “The Eyes, Ears, and Voice: Why Nursing Home Visitation Saves Lives.”
On June 22nd the California Senate unanimously passed Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s bill, SB 1207, to help save the lives of California nursing home residents during power outages that may result from public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), emergencies, natural disasters, and other causes. CANHR and Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of San Luis Obispo County are co-sponsoring SB 1207.
CANHR’s own Mike Dark is the co-author of this paper published in the International Journal of Psychogeriatrics on the subject of human rights of older people in the COVID pandemic. To download the article and read it, click HERE (PDF)
Last week – while the staggering death toll for California nursing home residents from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 – a top official at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) testified at separate Assembly and Senate oversight hearings on its plan to reform nursing home oversight. Inconceivably, the central feature of CDPH’s plan is to turn hundreds of its nursing home inspectors into free, part-time consultants to the very same nursing homes they are required to inspect and regulate.
Are the federally ordered COVID-19 infection control surveys of nursing homes a fraud? One can certainly make a case that they are in California based on data and inspection reports released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 4, 2020. On March 20, 2020, CMS ordered state survey agencies to suspend almost all types of nursing home surveys and directed them to temporarily institute a new system of “targeted” infection control surveys aimed at “ensuring providers are implementing actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The new CMS data and inspection reports are the public’s first chance to see what inspectors found during approximately 5,700 onsite surveys that were conducted between March 4 and April 29 in the nation’s nursing homes.
Today CANHR released a Ten-Point Reform Plan that responds to the nightmarish conditions California nursing home residents have faced throughout the pandemic and for years before the coronavirus arrived. The sweeping plan addresses longstanding failings that the pandemic has exposed for all to see, starting with the need to give top priority to helping people stay out of nursing homes.
LONG TERM CARE ABUSE IN THE ERA OF COVID-19 Tuesday, June 16, 10-11 am FACILITATORS: Shawna Reeves, Director, Elder Abuse Prevention Program, Institute on Aging Tamari Hedani, Associate Director, Elder Abuse Prevention Program, Institute on Aging PANELISTS: Benson Nadell, Program Director, San Francisco Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Nicole Howell, Executive Director for Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano Counties and Alameda; Steering Committee Member, California Elder Justice Coalition Mike Dark, Staff Attorney, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform OBJECTIVES: Learn what long-term care ombudsmen, advocates at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, and members of the California Elder Justice Coalition are doing to advocate for the safety of residents in California’s long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic Understand why long-term care facilities were so unprepared for COVID-19 Come away with three things you can do to advocate for change and reform in California’s long-term care system CLICK TO REGISTER For questions about the event please contact the host: https://www.ioaging.org/contact-us Continuing education credits available for: BRN (for RNs); CAMFT (serves LCSW/MFT/LPCC/LEP); MCLE (Attorneys/Licensed Fiduciaries).