California nursing home compare website needs to go, advocates say

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A new website in the state of California is supposed to make it easier for residents to compare nursing homes. But industry advocates say it's doing more harm than good and should be taken down immediately, California Healthline reports.

The site in question is Cal Health Find, launched by the state's Department of Public Health earlier this year, as a way to compare nursing homes and other care facilities. State activists, however, are calling the effort “incomplete, inaccurate and a huge step in the wrong direction.”

“Choosing the right nursing homes can be a life-and-death decision,” consumer advocate Michael Connors, with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, tells the website. “This site should help them avoid places that are likely to neglect them. Right now, it will do the opposite,” he continued, pointing to inaccurate counts for complaints filed against homes, and omitted links for inspection reports.

The California Association of Health Facilities also has expressed concerns with the site, according to the report.

On the flipside, state officials say that the site is still in its infancy, with updates on the way.

“The department has acknowledged and identified the source of the problem [with complaint counts] and has already implemented a correction plan,” Corey Egel, spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, told Healthline in a written statement. “The department believes Cal Health Find improves the user experience. … We find no reason to remove the site while we correct errors.”