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Together, these staggering statistics and projections illustrate the urgent need to address and remedy the poor quality of care in many of California's skilled nursing facilities.
The Division is composed of three units designed to prosecute those who abuse California's elderly and dependent population and the Medi-Cal Program.
The Criminal Law Unit investigates and prosecutes crimes against elders and dependent adults committed by employees in care facilities. These crimes include physical abuse, homicide, sexual assault, false imprisonment, assault and battery. The Criminal Law Unit also investigates and prosecutes financial abuse against elder and dependent adults as well as fraud by Medi-Cal providers.
The Civil Law Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud by Medi-Cal providers, at both a state and national level. The Civil Law Unit frequently works with other federal and other state prosecutors to combat fraud on the Medicaid system using the California False Claims Act and other civil enforcement statutes.
The Facilities Enforcement Team investigates and prosecutes owners and operators of facilities, such as skilled nursing homes, hospitals, and residential care facilities for the elderly, for adopting policies and/or promoting practices that lead to neglect and poor quality of care. These prosecutions frequently include the prosecution of corporate entities who facilities engage in institutional neglect or substandard care.
The Facilities Enforcement Team also oversees the Operation Guardians Program. The primary goal of the Operation Guardians program is to help protect California's elder and dependent adult residents residing in approximately 1,300 skilled nursing facilities statewide. The Operation Guardians team identifies instances of potential criminal abuse or neglect for further investigation and possible prosecution.
1California Controller, http://www.sco.ca.gov/state_finances_101_california_population.html, U:\Shared.dir\FET\Users\DicaV\Research\Misc\2015-08-06 CA Controller 65 and over.pdf.
2California Department of Public Health, https://hfcis.cdph.ca.gov/aboutUs.aspx, U:\Shared.dir\FET\Users\DicaV\Research\Misc\2015-08-06 DPH Nursing Home Stats.pdf (126,800 nursing home beds in California); California Association of Health Facilities, http://www.cahf.org/MediaCenter/FactsandStatistics.aspx (occupancy rates in California are approximately 87 percent).
3Residential Care in California: Unsafe, Unregulated & Unaccountable (2013), California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, p. 3; California Healthcare Foundation, A Primer on Residential Care Facilties for the Elderly (2002), p. 9 (average vacancy rate 8%).
4California Healthcare Foundation, A Primer on Residential Care Facilties for the Elderly (2002), p. 5.
5California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes, California's Elder Abuse Investigators: Ombudsmen Shackled by Conflicting Laws and Duties, November 3, 2009, p. 7.