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.

The hearings come after U-T San Diego reported that at least 27 seniors died due to neglect and poor care in the past five years in homes in San Diego County. The newspaper and the California Healthcare Foundation Center for Health Reporting at the University of Southern California jointly produced a series of investigative articles on San Diego County homes in September. A second installment appeared in the U-T Sunday, Dec. 16.

Sen. Leland Y. Yee, D-San Mateo, announced soon after the initial series that he would hold an oversight hearing because of the findings. Yee chairs the Senate Committee on Human Services, which oversees the state Department of Social Services. The agency is drawing increasing criticism over its record in regulating the state’s 7,700 assisted living homes.

Other news organizations have also reported on problems in California’s assisted living homes, including the ProPublica website and “Frontline” show on PBS, the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Contra Costa Times.

Two other Senate committees will also hold a joint hearing — the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, chaired by Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, and the Health Committee, chaired by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina.

Yee’s committee will meet Feb. 11 from  9 a.m. to noon, followed by the Business and Health committees at 1 p.m. Both hearings will be in the John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) at the California State Capitol, 1301 10th St., Sacramento.

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