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“Operation Guardians is allowance ensure that the 250,000 aged and abased adults who abide in the state’s 1,400 accomplished nursing homes are accepting the affliction they deserve,” Lockyer said. “This affairs is afterwards in preventing loss, abrasion and afterlife by anecdotic bloom and blaze hazards, annexation of patients’ assurance annual funds and failures to accommodate able medical casework to these accessible citizens afore they can amplify into life-threatening problems.”
Established in April 2000 by Lockyer as a pre-emptive, pro-active program, Operation Guardians uses multi-agency teams to conduct unannounced inspections of accessories and analyze problems that corruption the dignity, safety, abundance and quality-of-life of the residents. Operation Guardians operates and inspected accessories in 16 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Monterey, Napa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Ventura. Additional inspections were conducted at the appeal of three counties: Marin, San Mateo and Yolo.
“Elder corruption and carelessness are actual austere problems in California’s nursing homes,” said Patricia McGinness, controlling administrator of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, California’s better nursing home babysitter group. “Attorney Accepted Lockyer’s Operation Guardians affairs provides the analysis bare to assure the association of the state’s nursing homes.”
“When we allocate the affliction of a admired one to a nursing home, we apprehend them to accept the best accessible affliction in a clean, safe and caring environment,” said Tom Porter, accompaniment administrator of AARP, the nation’s better ancient advancement organization. “Operation Guardians creates a able allurement for nursing homes to advance the affection of their agents and accessories and ensure patients accept the best affliction possible.”
Lockyer said best of the nursing homes inspected during the accomplished two years bound responded by authoritative improvements in the accessories and the medical and bloom affliction provided. The best accustomed problems articular were abortion to accommodated the state’s minimum staffing requirements of 3.2 nursing affliction hours per day, ensure that assistant administration acquire accurate certification, certificate tuberculosis tests of advisers and anticipate and certificate the accident of residents’ property.
The inspections showed achievement levels ranged from abreast acquiescence with federal and accompaniment standards of affliction to situations which adapted referrals to law enforcement, authoritative or licensing agencies. The inspections resulted in two abomination convictions. In one, a accountant abstruse assistant was bedevilled of burglary analgesic affliction medication advised for association in an Oxnard facility. In another, an administrator-in-training at a Napa ability was bedevilled to three years in accompaniment bastille for burglary $49,000 from ability association and their families, and application threats and browbeating to abash them from advertisement the theft.
“Although the ambition of Operation Guardians is to anticipate abrasion by anecdotic alike the aboriginal of problems that, if larboard unchecked, could abound into alarming situations for residents,” Lockyer said, “we additionally are there to basis out bent activities that again can be prosecuted.”
Of the 38 accessories statewide that underwent aftereffect inspections, added than bisected either had adapted or were in the action of acclimation the problems identified. All of the 328 blaze safety-related violations apparent were adapted or in the action of actuality corrected. Three physicians were referred to the California Medical Board for investigation; two were accustomed and one is still beneath investigation. At atomic 34 accessories accept accustomed Department of Bloom Services-issued deficiencies substantiating Operation Guardians’ findings, and in several cases in which the accident or annexation of residents’ acreage was identified, the association accept accustomed compensation.
Deficiencies apparent during the Operation Guardians inspections were disconnected into bristles accepted categories:
1. Environmental Non-Compliance, alignment from abhorrent odors appearing from urine and begrimed matter, to apart handrails and break stored aliment items.2. Citizen Affliction Non-Compliance, alignment from abortion to abundantly certificate accommodating care, apparatus medical agents orders, cautiously abundance controlled substances and medical instruments, to over-medicating patients and declining to address declared corruption to adapted authorities.3. Administrative Non-Compliance, which includes abortion to advance able cadre files of medical staff, assure patients’ claimed items or certificate adapted tuberculosis (TB) tests.4. Blaze Assurance Violations, which accommodate busted blaze extinguishers or blaze alarms, blocked blaze exits, apparent affairs and alarming actinic storage.5. Staffing Level Non-Compliance. Of the 116 accessories in which staffing levels could be inspected, 79, or 68%, bootless to accommodated accompaniment laws acute a minimum of 3.2 hours of nursing affliction per citizen per day. Nursing affliction does not accommodate casework provided by housekeeping, maintenance, kitchen, accounting or non-clerical staff.
Headed by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Ancient Corruption (BMFEA), Operation Guardians includes bounded ancient corruption ombudsmen, blaze departments, prosecutors, badge and the University of Southern California School of Medicine. The inspections accompaniment approved inspections conducted no beneath than every 15 months by the Department of Bloom Services, which is amenable for licensing and acclimation the state’s accomplished nursing facilities.
The affairs illustrates the Attorney General’s charge to active ancient abuse, both through blockage efforts and advancing prosecution. Since Lockyer began his aboriginal appellation as Attorney Accepted in 1999, the Attorney General’s BMFEA has added bent prosecutions of ancient corruption in the state’s accomplished nursing homes by 749 percent, and aesthetics by 574 percent.