Central Coast Nursing Center Loses License

State Health Department Says Owner Responsible for ‘Serious Violations’

Caring Team Inc., the company that owns a Santa Barbara nursing home with a miserable reputation for abuse and neglect, was stripped of its operating license last week. Cheryl Gordon with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) explained the decision was made because of “serious violations related to quality of care and actual harm to patients.” Located at 3880 Via Lucero, Central Coast Nursing Center was placed under state control for only a few days before Southern California healthcare giant Compass Health, Inc. applied for ownership.

The application’s review process was expedited, explained Gordon, and the bid approved on August 26; Compass Health was issued a provisional license today, August 31. “This means that the facility will not be closed and the residents will no longer have to be relocated,” said Gordon, acknowledging that full closure had been a real possibility. Caring Team didn’t respond to requests for comment, and Compass Health failed to provide a statement by deadline.

With a capacity of 154 residents, Central Coast Nursing Center — formerly known as La Cumbre Senior Living Concepts, and before that Beverly La Cumbre — is one of the larger of the 16 long care facilities in the county. It’s changed hands a number of times over the last two decades, but is hit every year with dozens of complaints and violations when the state conducts recertification inspections.

Only three months into 2011 — the most recent available data — the nursing home had been cited 43 times for “survey deficiencies,” which mean noncompliance with certain mandated protocols related to patient care. California nursing homes, on average, rack up approximately 20 such citations per year. Four of Central Coast’s survey deficiencies were classified as serious, isolated incidents. One was categorized as an extremely serious, patterned situation that, in CDPH language, “has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death.” Three substantiated claims of patient abuse were also recorded.

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