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Court Orders State To Continue Nursing Home Oversight

Audio

Aired 10/29/09

The California Department of Public Health has been ordered to continue issuing quarterly reports on its oversight of nursing homes. A Superior Court judge says the agency must demonstrate it is investigating complaints in a timely manner.

— The California Department of Public Health has been ordered to continue issuing quarterly reports on its oversight of nursing homes. A Superior Court judge says the agency must demonstrate it is investigating complaints in a timely manner.

In 2006, the court ordered the department to improve its oversight of nursing homes. That was in response to a lawsuit filed by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. The group argued state regulators were taking too long to investigate complaints.

Pat McGuiness is the group's executive director. She says the new court ruling forces the state to take its oversight role seriously.

"If they weren't under court order, they wouldn't be doing it," McGuiness says. "And they didn't do it before, and we think it's absolutely imperative for consumers that they get response to complaints in a timely basis."

State officials say the agency is meeting investigation deadlines in almost all cases.

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