Monday, October 26, 2015
Legislative caucus writes to Governor asking for his promised intervention as the Dept. of Health fails to obey the law on posting long-term care home inspection reports
Keith Ridley of the Department of Health Office of Health Care Assurance indicated in phone conversations and in an interview with Civil Beat that no further reports will be posted due to lack of resources.
The Legislature authorized $148,000 for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 for two positions in the DOH, but neither position was hired. The appropriation was not renewed in the next budget and the positions remain unfilled.
As senator, you voted in support of HB120 (2013) which became Act 213. When campaigning for governor, you indicated that you would ensure the deadline was met. Civil Beat reported on September 13 that your office insisted that "the issue will be resolved soon."—Letter from Legislative Kupuna Caucus to Governor David Ige
by Larry Geller
Despite a law passed in the 2013 Legislative session requiring the Department of Health to post long-term care home inspection reports on their website starting January 1, 2015, the DOH has not done so. At first they posted a small sub-set of the reports and then stopped completely.
- See: Against the Law: State Stops Posting Care Home Inspection Reports Online (Civil Beat, 9/13/2015)
At its last meeting, the members of the of the Legislative Kupuna Caucus, which is made up of social service agencies, advocates and concerned individuals, decided to write a letter to Governor David Ige asking him to make good on his promise to intervene.
The letter was delivered to the Governor on October 20. A copy is reproduced below.
To reiterate why Act 213 is critical to the hundreds of families searching for placement for loved ones, it is only necessary to describe the situation prior to passage of the law, which unfortunately continues to this day.
Then and now, a person suddenly faced with the need to place a spouse or relative in a long term care facility must write a letter to the Office of Health Care Assurance specifying the facilities under consideration, and then wait for a state worker to manually pull the files, redact the names, make copies, charge for the copying and notify the requestor that the information is available.
The process may take 10 days to a couple of weeks and the family must pay for the reports. The law removed this requirement and expense by providing a simple, cost effective solution to the problem that is already in effect in many other states: Inspection reports posted on the Web that may be reviewed immediately, with no delay, and at no cost to families.
When the need is immediate, 10 days to a couple of weeks is too slow and is unacceptable. It's also costly for the family and the State if a hospital patient refuses to move until there is some information that assures they will be transferred to a new home that is safe and has a history of providing good care.