Assembly Health Committee Convenes Informational Hearing on Long-Term Care Facilities

On Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee convened an informational hearing to assess the licensing, inspections, and quality of care provided in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) throughout California. The hearing featured three panels consisting of state officials, service providers, and facility representatives.

The first panel provided an overview of the licensing and inspection process of SNFs from California State Auditor Elaine Howle and the Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO). The second panel explored quality of care challenges in SNFs and featured officials from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and representatives from older adult advocacy groups. Last, the third panel discussed potential solutions and stakeholder involvement in addressing quality of care concerns identified during the hearing.

During the hearing, numerous Assembly Health Committee members, including Chair Jim Wood, raised significant concerns with the state’s oversight of SNFs, particularly those with outstanding licensing issues. Members pressed CDPH on state regulatory activities with Mr. Wood at one point asking of CDPH, “Where is the proactive, patient-centered public safety approach here? … Because I don’t feel it right now. And yet here we are. Here we sit. … We have to wait for people to die.” CDPH representatives, responding to members’ questions, largely pointed to staffing challenges, high turnover rates, training matters, and significant pressures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agenda from the hearing is available here. Additional background materials from the hearing are available here. A video recording of the hearing is available here.