Report 2017-109 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2017-109: Skilled Nursing Facilities: Absent Effective State Oversight, Substandard Quality of Care Has Continued (Release Date: May 2018)

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Recommendations to Health Care Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
12

Health Care Services should use current data to revise and update the peer groups it uses to set Medi-Cal rates. In doing so, it should take into consideration the consolidation of the nursing facility industry.

Recommendations to Health Planning and Development, Office of Statewide
Number Recommendation Status
10

To ensure that it provides the public with nursing facility information that is accurate and comprehensible, Health Planning should update its regulations to do the following:

- Append additional schedules to the template for the annual cost report to enable nursing facilities to fully disclose related-party transactions.

- Provide a single location in the annual cost report template for nursing facilities to enter related-party transaction amounts next to the amounts they are claiming for Medi-Cal reimbursement.

- Create an additional schedule in the cost report template that depicts how a company is investing in quality-of-care improvements.

Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that the State supports and encourages nursing facilities' efforts to improve their quality of care, the Legislature should modify the quality assurance fee by requiring nursing facilities to demonstrate quality-of-care improvements to receive all or some of their quality assurance fee payments. If nursing facilities do not demonstrate adequate quality-of-care improvements, Health Care Services should redistribute their quality assurance fee payments to those nursing facilities that have improved. In modifying this program, the Legislature should consider the best practices we identified and the feedback that Health Care Services receives from stakeholders.

2

To ensure that Public Health's oversight results in nursing facilities improving their quality of care, the Legislature should require Public Health to develop by November 2018 a proposal for legislative consideration that outlines the factors it will consider when approving or denying applications from nursing facilities of the same class based on each applicant's ability to provide quality patient care. This proposal should outline the specific criteria—including relevant quality-of-care metrics—that Public Health will consider and the specific thresholds at which higher-level management must approve decisions. Public Health should review its proposal with its stakeholders before forwarding it to the Legislature. The Legislature should codify Public Health's proposal as appropriate.

3

To ensure that Public Health's oversight results in nursing facilities improving their quality of care, the Legislature should require Public Health to conduct state and federal inspections concurrently by aligning federal and state timelines. Specifically, because federal inspections must occur no later than 15 months since the last federal inspection, the Legislature should require that state inspections occur every 30 months.

4

To ensure that Public Health's oversight results in nursing facilities improving their quality of care, the Legislature should require that Public Health increase citation penalty amounts annually by—at a minimum—the cost of inflation.

5

The Legislature should require nursing facilities to submit annually their related-parties' profit and loss statements to Health Care Services when total transactions exceed a specified monetary threshold. The purpose of these statements would be to assist Health Care Services in its audits.

6

To improve coordination and efficiency among the state agencies that oversee nursing facilities, the Legislature should require that Health Planning, Public Health, and Health Care Services collaborate to assess the information that each collects from nursing facilities and to develop a proposal by May 2019 for any legislative changes that would be necessary to increase the efficiency of their collection and use of the information. The agencies' goals should include the collection of information by only one agency and the development of a method to share that information with each other. By May 2020, the three agencies should report to the Legislature on the results of implementing their proposal, such as the efficiencies gained through their increased coordination.

7

To more effectively communicate with consumers about nursing facilities' financial conditions and quality of care, the Legislature should require a state entity—such as Health Planning, Public Health, or Health Care Services—to develop, implement, and maintain for consumers by May 2020 an online dashboard that includes at a minimum information about nursing facilities' net income and quality of care.

Recommendations to Public Health, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
8

As the Legislature considers changes to state law, Public Health should take the steps necessary to ensure that its oversight results in nursing facilities improving their quality of care by doing the following:

Amend its application licensing reviews by developing a defined process that specifies how an analyst will determine whether an applicant has demonstrated its ability to comply with state and federal requirements. This process also needs to ensure that analysts conduct complete and standardized reviews of each nursing facility application within each class of facility. Specifically, these processes should clearly outline what factors analysts will consider when determining whether an applicant is in compliance, how analysts will weigh those factors for each class of facility, and what objective thresholds will prompt analysts to elevate applications for review and approval by higher-level management. Additionally, Public Health should document the additional factors higher-level management will consider if applications are elevated for their review to ensure that Public Health conducts standardized reviews of nursing facility applications of the same class. Finally, Public Health should develop processes ensuring that it documents its decisions adequately.

9

As the Legislature considers changes to state law, Public Health should take the steps necessary to ensure that its oversight results in nursing facilities improving their quality of care by doing the following:

Ensure that it issues citations in a timely manner, especially for immediate jeopardy deficiencies.

11

To improve the availability and transparency of information, Public Health should upload all inspection findings to Cal Health Find and review ownership data by May 2019.



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