California aged care homes operate without a licence

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California, which has had the most COVID-19 cases in the US, has the biggest number of aged care facilities in America caring for about 100,000 residents.

An investigation by Not For Profit newsrooms found that operators can continue to operate even when their licence to care is revoked. Operators lodge appeals which mean they can continue operating.

ReNew Health Group, founded in 2014 is run by CEO Crystal Solorzano (pictured right) provides care for one in 50 of the state’s nursing home residents, and they are responsible for nearly one in 10 Immediate Jeopardies, the most serious misconduct citation, in California since 2019, according to LAist’s analysis.

ReNew Health was denied by state regulators from running nine of the RACs and Solorzano herself has been declared unfit to be an aged care home administrator and deemed unfit to hold a licence to operate.

However, Solorzano has taken over nine aged care facilities and is running the other facilities while she appeals.

“California has, in a sense, rolled out the red carpet for bad providers,” Tony Chicotel, a lawyer with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a bad provider in California. You can get in the building, you can be a squatter, and they can’t get you out.”

More than 183,000 residents and staff of aged care operators in the US have died from COVID-19.