SAN FRANCISCO -- On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a settlement that will resume federal funding for the Laguna Honda Hospital & Rehabilitation Center.
City officials approved the settlement following a presentation on recertification strategies by hospital officials. During this meeting, Laguna Honda Interim CEO Roland Pickens laid out the agreement that was reached in October by local, state, and federal officials.
With this agreement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will fund the hospital until November of next year. Additionally, the CMS will pause the discharge and transfer process of its more than 600 patients until February 2023, with the potential of this halt being extended.
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A lawsuit had been filed by City Attorney David Chiu against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after regulators demanded that the hospital transfer all of its patients out of the facility by September. The lawsuit alleged that nine people died shortly after being transferred from Laguna Honda to another service provider.
In April, the hospital lost its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreements following safety concerns cited by state and federal regulators. Health violations included drug paraphernalia, lack of infection prevention and control, and missed doses of medication.
Hospital officials have agreed to improve the health and safety conditions as well as work to reapply for long-term federal funding. They are currently meeting with union partners three times a week and collaborating with the California Association of Health Facilities in order to learn best leadership practices from other nursing homes.
Consultants have also been monitoring staff to ensure that they are consistently meeting a list of prioritized standards, including responding to call lights quickly, keeping hands clean, and securing medication carts appropriately. These check-ins have resulted in more than 6,000 individual data points that have been collected by consultants on a weekly basis.
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