NY Comptroller works to strengthen health of nursing home residents

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said the state needs to do a better job at taking care of nursing home residents.

DiNapoli said the Department of Health does well inspecting nursing homes but not when it comes to holding anyone accountable for violations. In some cases, it took six years to collect a fine.

In an audit released on Monday, DiNapoli said the DOH will inspect a nursing home, find problems, but then nothing happens. Less than four percent of violations resulted in a fine, and that usually occurs after someone has gotten hurt.

When the DOH does issue a fine, they don’t go after it aggressively, according to the audit, so it may take years for anyone to pay for the mistake.

“Just on the face of it, when you just see the pattern over the past few years, when you have that kind of lag time, it’s hard to take the enforcement very seriously when it takes years before the fine is actually imposed,” DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli acknowledged that staffing at DOH is a factor and is something he needs to address.

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