LOS ANGELES – Max Huntsman has been appointed as interim Inspector General to oversee the Los Angeles County’s skilled nursing home facilities, according to an announcement by the Executive Office of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The Board voted unanimously on May 26 to appoint an Inspector General to oversee skilled nursing home facilities, which account for more than half of LA County’s deaths from COVID-19.
Huntsman, who has served as the county’s first-ever Inspector General overseeing accountability for both the Los Angeles County Sheriffs and Probation departments since 2013, will now also be tasked with developing recommendations on how to strengthen oversight for skilled nursing home facilities and how to improve their operations long-term until a final recruitment and selection is completed.
“Max is strategic and engaged and has the experience we need to bring much-needed accountability to the county’s skilled nursing homes,” said Celia Zavala, Executive Officer of the Board. “He has a track record of making progressive change and we are confident he will help the county ensure real, substantive shifts for our most vulnerable communities to receive the care and oversight they deserve.”
Huntsman is a seasoned county employee with 29 years of service. He has progressively responsible experience working for the office of the District Attorney. He is known for leading anti-corruption efforts, conducting investigations and prosecuting white-collar crime throughout his law career.
“I am in strong support of the Board’s desire to do everything we can to improve nursing home care,” Huntsman said. “My staff is looking forward to working closely with state and county partners to identify an emergency management system and oversight process that will promote the best care possible for this highly vulnerable patient population. We’re reaching out to medical professionals in and outside of government and working closely with the Auditor-Controller, with whom we have a strong working relationship. We hope to help bring about real change.”
The first task at hand will be for Huntsman to conduct a review of the county’s oversight mechanisms for skilled nursing facilities, which have historically received low marks for quality of care, patient satisfaction and employee pay.
Huntsman will be expected to provide a proposed scope of work to the Board by Aug. 1 that outlines a schedule for completing a full report on his findings, and report back with interim reports every 60 days until a final report is completed.
[Information via news release from Los Angeles County.]