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Nursing Facilities Not Up To Code

April 19, 2001

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An investigation into nursing home abuses across California revealed numerous problems, including embezzlement and patient neglect, the state attorney general said.

The problems were uncovered during a yearlong probe conducted by a coalition of building code inspectors, fire marshals and physicians.

They visited dozens of randomly selected nursing homes in 12 counties. In Southern California, seven of the 25 homes inspected face allegations of criminal wrongdoing that inspectors referred to the district attorney’s office, officials said.

The surprise annual inspections, which began in March 2000, identify problems at nursing care facilities and trigger improvements in their living conditions there, Attorney General Bill Lockyer said Tuesday.

``For elderly and dependent Californians in these facilities, this means run-down and unsafe nursing home buildings are being fixed, improvements are being made in the quality of care they receive and renewed attention is being given to their dignity,″ he said.

According to a report of the findings, the serious infractions included nurses failing to cover the open wounds of a resident infected with hepatitis B and staffers at another facility not getting the proper signatures before making purchases from patients’ trust accounts.

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