Plan would address inspection backlog, limit inspection duties

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is reportedly seeking to realign nursing home inspection and oversight duties to address a chronic backlog of investigations into abuse and other violations, while limiting enforcement requirements for entities charged with conducting them.

Brown's plans reportedly may limit nursing home inspections to one year and only for the most severe cases affecting public welfare, Los Angeles Times reported.

Los Angeles is the only county in the state authorized to perform annual nursing home inspections, but it is plagued by delays county officials blame on poor funding and inadequate staffing. 

More than a quarter of the more than 10,000 open complaints and incidents self-reported by facilities there have remained open for two years, the paper added. A 2014 audit revealed some complaints were closed without a full investigation while others involved citations county supervisors downgraded, the paper added.

County officials told the newspaper they need 150 more employees and twice the $27 million they get every year for inspection and investigation efforts.

A spokesperson for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, meanwhile, said the state “has been equally negligent in investigating nursing home complaints.”