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Long-term care providers in California could be subject to more visits from inspectors as the state ponders changes to its nursing home inspection system. 

The California Department of Public Health is considering a draft plan that calls for inspectors to visit each of the state’s 1,100 nursing homes multiple times per month to advise, educate and offer support in a push to improve quality of care, KPBS reported Wednesday.

The overhaul would be a change from the usual annual checks from inspectors that providers are currently subject to. Proponents for the change believe the update would produce a more collaborative and less punitive survey process. 

Long-term care providers have pushed for that kind of collaborative process on a national scale. Federal officials have not been open to the idea.

“[The current system is] really designed to be adversarial, to be punitive and to find things that the facility is doing wrong and punish them for it,” argued Karl Steinberg, medical director of Life Care Center of Vista, in Vista, CA, and Carlsbad by the Sea Care Center, in Carlsbad, CA. 

“I think that there could be a lot of good that would come out of a more collaborative relationship,” Steinberg told KPBS. 

Resident advocates have argued, however, that the change could make surveyors hesitant to punish providers it has advised and helped in the past. The state assured that, if the change moves forward, the nursing home inspection system would still play its “distinct regulatory enforcement role,” according to the report.