Deborah Schoch

Deborah Schoch

Center for Health Reporting

Senior writer Deborah Schoch reports on hospitals and health care delivery, nursing homes, environmental health and food. Her most recent articles have examined patient safety andhospital infections. She was a founding writer with the Center’s pilot project. Schoch spent 18 years as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, covering public health and the environment. She was a member of the Times newsroom teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news in 1992 and 1994. Schoch graduated from Cornell University and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1999-2000, studying science, law and policy. Her work at the Center has won several honors, including first place in the 2010 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She sits on the AHCJ board’s Right-to-Know Committee, which works to improve access to public health records.

The ACA in California one year in

Health reform in California: A state of accelerating change

Gail Fulbeck, 64, relies on her body for work. She hauls soda, energy drinks, snacks and water to the 23 vending machines she owns around downtown Sacramento.
The ACA in California one year in

Health in an age of change: State health czar Diana Dooley reflects on the ACA's impact

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, oversees 13 departments and supervises the state’s rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act, including Covered California, the state’s insurance marketplace, and the Medi-Cal program for the poor.
The ACA in California one year in

Some California Views of Health Reform

Government officials, insurance representatives, and regular folks speak out about the Affordable Care Act one year in.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Brown boosts assisted-living fines

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday a bill imposing a 100-fold increase in the top fine for violations of state regulations at assisted-living homes for the elderly.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Bills to boost oversight of assisted living homes pending

Ten bills that tighten state oversight of assisted living homes are headed to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature, the most significant overhaul since regulations were first enacted in 1985.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Bill by bill: Assisted living reform package

The California Legislature has acted on 17 bills proposed this year to reform regulation of assisted living homes. This chart shows what bills legislators have passed or rejected, and which have been signed so far by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Sponsors Withdraw Support of Bill Raising Fines on Assisted Living Homes

The two sponsors of a bill to increase fines imposed on assisted living homes in California withdrew their support Tuesday, following a behind-the-scenes revision of the legislation.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Brown signs care-home liability law

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure requiring for the first time that assisted living homes carry liability insurance. The measure mandates that the 7,500 such facilities in California, with beds for 176,000 seniors, must carry insurance by July 2015.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Senate panel oks raising top fine on assisted living centers to 15k

The maximum fine for health and safety violations at assisted-living centers would grow 100-fold under overhaul legislation approved by a key Senate committee on Thursday.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Bill to hike care-home fines faces key test

A bill that would significantly raise fines on assisted living facilities that violate state law faces a showdown vote in Sacramento Thursday as key players seek a compromise to keep it alive.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Bill requiring insurance at elder-care sites ok'd

The state Assembly voted 69-2 Monday to require assisted-living homes to carry liability insurance, a victory for Democratic Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, who spearheaded the bill as part of a legislative effort to improve care provided in such homes.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Overhaul of assisted living faces hurdles

A group of 15 bills to toughen state oversight of California’s assisted living industry is facing new challenges from owners of small facilities who say the measures would cause homes to close, leaving seniors with fewer options.
Deadly Neglect (Part III)

Status of assisted living bills

Reforms proposed by legislators face test this week.
Electronic Health Records

Millions of Electronic Medical Records Breached

Thieves, hackers and careless workers have breached the medical privacy of nearly 32 million Americans, including 4.6 million Californians, since 2009.
Electronic Health Records

Hits to Medical Privacy

Since early 2009 the federal government has reported more than 1,000 cases in which private health information was put at risk, affecting nearly 32 million people.
Electronic Health Records

E-Record Push Dividing Doctors

Dr. Martin Fee, an infectious disease specialist, doesn’t miss the days of chasing medical records through the corridors of Orange County hospitals.
Quake Breakdown

Hospitals respond to earthquake readiness survey

In a marked turnaround from a prior survey, more than 90 percent of California’s hospitals have provided key information sought by state and federal officials about their preparedness for earthquakes and other disasters.
Deadly Neglect (Part I)

Specific care-home reform proposals

The following bills were proposed Monday to overhaul residential care facilities for the elderly, or RCFEs.
Deadly Neglect (Part I)

12 assisted living bills announced

Responding to deaths and abuses in California’s assisted living homes, state legislators on Monday announced a dozen bills aimed at boosting care for the elderly and sharpening state enforcement at more than 7,000 such facilities.
Deadly Neglect (Part II)

Investigative reports spark hearings on assisted living homes

Three key committees of the California Legislature will hold hearings Feb. 11 in Sacramento to probe problems with assisted living homes in the state.
Deadly Neglect (Part II)

Rules let sicker clients into living centers

One factor contributing to medical errors at assisted living homes is that California regulators over the past decade have opened the doors of the facilities to ever sicker seniors by changing the rules.
Deadly Neglect (Part II)

Search assisted living violations data for SD County

U-T Watchdog, as a public service, requested from the California Department of Social Services citation data for local assisted- living homes, from 2008 through May of this year. Search here to learn about San Diego County facilities.

How Willie Miles died: The rest of the story

Last week brought a resolution of sorts to a horrific story of a patient’s death following knee surgery at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Cente

How to shop for an assisted living home

Since our “Deadly Neglect” series published last month with U-T San Diego, readers across California have been asking the same critical que

Deadly Neglect (Part I)

Senator to call hearing on assisted living after Center/U-T investigation finds abuses

A key panel of the California Legislature will hold an oversight hearing this winter to probe problems in the state’s assisted living homes for the elderly and seek solutions, its chairman said.
Deadly Neglect (Part I)

How the Deaths Were Counted

The California Department of Social Services, or DSS, is responsible for licensing and inspecting assisted living homes, known as Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, or RCFEs.  

Deadly Neglect (Part I)

Surprised and appalled, legislators pledge assisted living reforms

California lawmakers pledged to increase penalties and boost inspections in response to "Deadly Neglect," a three-day series published this week by U-T San Diego that showed serious deficiencies in the state's assisted-living homes.
Deadly Neglect (Part I)

Crimes go uninvestigated at assisted living homes

Elder abuse, sexual assault and other acts regularly go uninvestigated as crimes at assisted living homes across California, as the facilities fall into a jurisdictional haze in which the first response is often administrative sanctions.
Deadly Neglect (Part I)

Investigation reveals fatal neglect in San Diego assisted living facilities

A six-month investigation by U-T San Diego and the Center divulges sobering information about the treatment of senior citizens in assisted living homes.
Deadly Neglect (Part I)

Advocates say ‘we’re doing what the state should be doing’

Chris Murphy and Chrisy Selder know many of the sordid details by memory. Most Saturdays, they meet at their Hillcrest area office, brew strong cups of Peet’s coffee and go to work investigating local assisted living homes.


© 2019 Center for Health Reporting