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Few Hospitals’ Nurse Staffing Checked… So Far

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Only a fraction of California hospitals have been inspected to see if they are meeting a state law that imposes certain nurse-to-patient ratios.

The state Department of Health Services licenses 451 acute-care hospitals — but it has only investigated 28 facilities to see if they´re following the law.

The law took effect in January.

The health department only investigates a hospital if it receives a complaint.

Other agencies monitoring hospitals found different — and conflicting — levels of compliance with the ratio law.

A hospitals association, which opposes the ratios, says 85 percent of hospitals are out of compliance.

A survey by a nurses union, which supports the ratios, found 42 percent of hospitals out of compliance.