Department of Health

Nursing Home Complaints

The Department of Health is responsible for regulating the operation of nursing homes. We examined the practices used by the Department in investigating allegations of physical abuse, mistreatment and neglect of nursing home patients. We found that a number of improvements were urgently needed, as many of the investigations we reviewed were not initiated promptly, particularly in the New York City metropolitan area. We further found that many of the allegations may not have been investigated thoroughly, as the actions of the Departmentís investigators often were not documented. Some allegations were not investigated at all, as Department investigators relied instead on the nursing homesí own internal investigations. We also found that, in a number of instances, allegations were misclassified when they were received or were not recorded at all. In such instances, investigations may be delayed or allegations may never be investigated. We recommended that comprehensive improvements be made in the Departmentís practices related to nursing home complaints.

For a complete copy of Report 2001-S-36 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.