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Federal judge dismisses CA nursing home suit

June 10, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit alleging California nursing homes violated the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.

Lead plaintiff Bruce Anderson and two Medi-Cal patients claimed they were placed in hospitals and denied readmission to a nursing home. They and California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform sued the state last November for failing to enforce rulings that require nursing homes re-admit low-income residents.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam ruled Tuesday the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act does not give individuals the right to sue states for failing to enforce the law. Gilliam dismissed the complaint with prejudice, finding any amendments would be futile.

“We were obviously disappointed,” says the plaintiffs’ attorney Matthew Borden to Courthouse News. “It means devastation and heartbreak for hundreds of families. It’s depriving a person of all meaningful contact and therapy and leaving them in a hospital when they’re not sick.”

And it’s costing the state about $70 million. Hospital stays for Medi-Cal patients cost about $1,800 per day compared to an average $190 per day at a skilled nursing facility.

Borden, of BraunHagey & Borden in San Francisco, said his clients will likely appeal the ruling.