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Politics

California Bill Would Require Annual Long-Term Care Facility Inspections

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A California lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require annual unannounced state inspections of all long-term care facilities. The requirement now is at least one inspection every five years.

Recent reports of widespread abuse and neglect at California assisted-living facilities have prompted calls for better state oversight of community care facilities. Assemblyman Ian Calderon says his bill would help the state spot trouble early.

KPBS Evening Edition host Peggy Pico speaks with County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Aaron Byzak, the founder of Hazel's Army, about the county's increased oversight of senior care facilities, March 11, 2014.

“There are a lot of facilities that will get licensed and nobody will come by for five years to do an inspection and so they might be in violation of some laws, but they just don’t know it,” says Calderon. “And so this will also aid in catching a problem early and keep it from growing into a bigger problem.”

About a decade ago, the Department of Social Service’s budget was cut by about $5 million a year. Mandatory surprise inspections at assisted living, foster care and other facilities soon went way down.

The California Assisted Living Association says it endorses Calderon’s bill.

A legislative committee will take up the measure in the next few weeks.

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