Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jury penalty against nursing home exceeds state's punishment

"State regulators were far kinder to an Auburn nursing home last year than a Sacramento jury was yesterday. The jury handed down $28 million in punitive damages over the death of one 79-year-old woman.
The state, after issuing citations over the facility’s failures in three different patient deaths, dropped its bid to strip the facility of its operating license a year ago.

The Department of Public Health first moved to take away the license in 2007, in line with a state law that calls on health authorities to de-license a nursing home if it gets two "AA" citations within two years. Those citations are only issued when a nursing home's failures result in a patient's death.

On May 7, 2009, the department dropped the case in favor of a $120,000 fee and probation agreement.

State officials decided that the facility had improved since the patients died. It had changed management, staff, training and policies, the settlement agreement said.

“The Department … believes that (Colonial Healthcare) has demonstrated its ability and commitment to achieve and maintain compliance with requirements,” the settlement says.

The Colonial settlement was in the reams of files I compiled in recent months while writing about a 2004 state law that has since given the state’s nursing homes an additional $880 million in funding."

Read moreLocation Oakland, Ca - Private Investigator