Nursing homes in California under fire for cutting staff while receiving money for staffing

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The purpose of a 2004 California law was to provide nursing homes with additional funding to hire staff and increase wages. Instead, a number of nursing home providers took advantage of it to increase profits and pad their bottom line, according to a recent watchdog group report.

The investigation by the group California Watch found that 232 nursing homes in California cut staff, lowered wages or let staffing level fall below state standards. That was after receiving their share of an $880 million influx of cash for nursing homes. These homes collected more than $236 million in 2008. There were few safeguards against this sort of use for the funds, according to California Watch.

A number of the nursing homes that cut staff also experienced more deficiencies than other facilities, according to the report. Roughly 24 of the facilities that made the most cuts received about 33% more citations than other facilities in the state.

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