CA's second-biggest chain hit with $1.3 million settlement, system wide revisions

Share this content:

California's second-biggest nursing home provider must pay $1.3 million in civil penalties and state reimbursement to settle charges of substandard care against it. The settlement was approved in Superior Court on Wednesday. Pleasant Care Corp. agreed to pay $1 million in civil penalties and $350,000 to the state costs to fund its more than year long investigation.

A lawyer for Pleasant Care said that three Northern California facilities accounted for more than 90% of the company's fines over the past two years. The state issued more than 150 citations, including several citing "imminent danger," over the past five years, according to officials.

As part of the settlement, a permanent injunction stipulates that all 30 of Pleasant Care's facilities must provide mandatory staff training on proper wound care, accurate recordkeeping and prevention of malnutrition and dehydration. They also must hire a compliance officer and pay for independent monitors to be hired in consultation with Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office. In addition, the facilities will be subject to outside auditing over whether they are maintaining California's required nurse-to-patient ratio of 3.2 nursing hours per resident day, and a whistleblower program also must be started and maintained.

Pleasant Care previously had signed a corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services with similar or identical elements, according to a Pleasant Care attorney.