What Level of Care Does California Require of Nursing Homes?


Quick Answer

California laws dictate the level of care in all nursing homes within the state by addressing accommodation of needs, adequate staffing, care plans, assistance with toileting and feeding tubes. To receive Medi-Cal or Medicare payments, certified nursing homes must provide the most optimum level of care possible, helping each resident reach or continue his highest aptitude for psychosocial, physical and mental health. Barring a resident's refusal for services, all treatment options must be exercised to maintain or improve health.

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Full Answer

Care facilities must try to accommodate resident preferences by adjusting schedules, staffing and room arrangements to a reasonable extent. Nursing homes must use interpreters or other methods of communication when barriers exist between nursing home staff and residents.

California laws mandate that skilled nursing homes provide each resident with a minimum of 3.2 hours of nursing assistance on a daily basis. Additionally, such homes must post a list identifying the number of licensed and unlicensed nursing employees who are responsible for resident care. This list must be clearly visible and adjusted according to each shift every day.

Nursing home staff must quickly assess and offer treatment for any resident who experiences urinary incontinence or problems with bowel movements. Catheters can only be used when medically necessary, and staff must help residents use the bathroom by providing reminders and assisting with mobility or any other necessary services.

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