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November 15th, 2010

California state official are working on a plan to offer financial incentives to nursing homes that meet certain care standards. The five care standards include the ratio of nurses to patients, minimizing physical restraints, and preventing bedsores.

The plan involves about $40 million in Medi-Cal rate increases next year with nursing homes that score best receiving more money.

Officials of the state Department of Public Health and the Department of Health Care Services like the idea of giving bonuses based on quality, and say it should motiviate nursing homes to provide better care.

However, some critics say the plan doesn’t do enough to stop nursing home abuse. They cite that the plan doesn’t penalize homes that use powerful drugs to restrain patients, and would still allow bonuses to be given to homes that are guilty of violations.

“You could find nursing homes that have been responsible for abuse, neglect, or the death of residents who would qualify for a bonus payment,” Deborah Doctor of Disability Rights California said. “They would be able to advertise themselves as award-winning.”


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