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California Law Increases Nursing Home Violation Fines

The McClellan Law Firm

Noncompliant assisted living facilities could face serious fines in the future, news sources report. According to new California legislature, fines for out-of-line nursing homes will increase hundredfold in the coming year. The new law states that the maximum fines for state violations will jump from $150 to $15,000.

The law is one of several bills passed by Gov. Jerry Brown that will tighten regulations and enforcement for nursing homes across the state.

California will implement the new fines in July, which specifically apply to violations involving serious injury or wrongful death.

Reports Led to Increased Fines and Regulations

After a series of startling reports, lawmakers began working on a solution to increase penalties for nursing homes that fail to provide state-approved care for residents.

The initial proposal also included a clause that would allow that state to increase fines for lesser offenses from $150 to $1,000, but lobbyists disputed that portion of the bill and had it removed.

The bill and subsequent change in legislature will affect approximately 7,500 care facilities in California. According to reports, this is the most far-reaching bill passed in over thirty years that deals with quality of care in nursing homes.

Additional Training & Regulations

In addition to higher fines, the bill requires improved training for facility staff. For example, a CPR-certified staff member must be present at all times in California assisted living facilities. Additionally, facility supervisors and owners are not allowed to punish employees for calling 911 to get immediate care for elderly residents.

New Law Marks Victory for Nursing Home Residents

Advocates of the bill and new law consider it a significant victory for residents of assisted living and nursing home facilities. The executive director for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform described the bill and new law as a good start, but hopes to continue reforming state regulations.

"We're not finished by any stretch of the imagination," she said.