Laguna Honda Hospital Path to Recertification

Providing quality resident care during the recertification process.

For more than 150 years, Laguna Honda has been a pillar of San Francisco’s healthcare system, providing healthcare services to approximately 700 residents. The hospital cares for people coping with the effects of complex or chronic conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury or degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

In April 2022, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) terminated its Medicare and Medicaid payments to Laguna Honda. CMS funds the majority of resident care at Laguna Honda.

Last November, the City and County of San Francisco reached a settlement agreement with CMS that paused the involuntary transfer and discharge of residents through February 2, 2023 and extended payments through November 13, 2023. CMS has now extended that pause until September 19, 2023. CMS also extended payments for the care of our residents through March 19, 2024.

As we go through the recertification process, we are unwavering in our dedication to our residents. Their health, safety, and wellbeing is our top priority. We know Laguna Honda is the best place for our residents to receive care.

Laguna Honda remains open and licensed during the recertification process. We continue to provide quality healthcare to our residents as we work toward successful recertification in Medicare and Medicaid.

Path to Recertification

Keeping Laguna Honda open and recertified are among our highest priorities. Every resource is being made available to ensure Laguna Honda is successful.

The recertification process starts with submitting an application. It is followed by regulatory inspections, also known as surveys. After the initial surveys there is a period of time to show we remain compliant. Once the compliance period ends there is a full survey of the hospital. The recertification process will take several months.

We will continue to update the Laguna Honda community as we diligently work toward recertification.


Preparing the Facility for Recertification

Laguna Honda continues to work hard to meet all regulatory requirements and make rapid improvements to prepare for recertification.

This includes long-term operational, institutional, and cultural changes needed to achieve recertification and to ensure the long-term success of the hospital.

Certification experts conducted a comprehensive organizational assessment and made recommendations on gaps and improvements, and Laguna Honda is implementing those improvements and tracking to ensure sustainability.

Between the Laguna Honda staff and expert consultants, we are confident we have the team in place for successful recertification.


Mock Surveys

As part of our path to recertification, Laguna Honda will undergo mock surveys. Mock surveys are conducted by a team of experts with deep knowledge and experience with regulations and certification requirements. Mock surveys are as realistic as possible, mirroring the actual surveys. These surveys are an important exercise that help Laguna Honda staff identify areas for improvement so we can make changes before we apply for recertification.


Learn More - FAQ

We know the Laguna Honda Hospital community has many questions about Laguna Honda’s participation in the Medicare and Medicaid Provider Participation Programs and the Closure and Patient Transfer and Relocation Plan.


About Laguna Honda Hospital

For more than 150 years, Laguna Honda has been a pillar of San Francisco’s healthcare system, caring for those most in need and providing critical services during pivotal moments in San Francisco’s history, including the 1906 earthquake, the 1918 flu pandemic, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Laguna Honda represents the largest commitment by any city or county to a publicly run skilled nursing facility, serving approximately 700 residents.

Laguna Honda serves as a safety net for residents with complex medical needs who are low or very low income and often have no other options for care. Many residents have complicated chronic medical needs along with behavioral health components (such as diagnosed mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders) and other social or behavior issues. We serve a broad audience in terms of both care and demographics, with more than 25 percent of our population identifying as African American, 18 percent as Latino, and 20 percent as Asian.

Laguna Honda is uniquely organized into 13 specialized nursing and rehabilitation programs. These programs draw upon the talents of practitioners in multiple fields to provide a holistic approach to our resident’s health.

Specialized care at Laguna Honda includes a nationally recognized program for memory care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Laguna Honda also has an award-winning restorative care program that assists residents to retain and reclaim physical competency. Laguna Honda’s Positive Care program is the only HIV/AIDS skilled nursing program in the San Francisco Bay Area serving approximately 60 residents living with HIV/AIDS.

At the same time, the hospital cares for people coping with the effects of complex or chronic conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury or degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and rehabilitative services that include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and audiology, with monolingual care in Spanish and Chinese, palliative care and hospice services.

As we look toward the future, the need for Medi-Cal certified hospital-based skilled nursing facility (SNF) beds will only increase and are already limited today. Currently, Laguna Honda’s beds account for 34 percent of all SNF beds available in San Francisco. And, with San Francisco having only approximately 16 SNF beds per 1,000 adults aged 65 and older in 2020, and California’s population projected to increase by 66 percent for those over 60 from 2010 to 2060 as the baby boomer generation ages, we can expect a dramatic impact on the demand for California’s long term care facilities which already exceeds supply.



Last updated June 26, 2023