Federal and state laws regulate nursing home facilities in New York. So, you should be able to have confidence that your loved one will be protected from harm and treated with respect, giving him or her the ability to maintain their best possible quality of life.
However, according to USA Today, a recent audit casts doubt on whether the New York State Department of Health has properly managed the enforcement of the laws meant to protect nursing home residents. Between January 2007 and May 2015, multiple investigations revealed that standards were not met, and deficiency citations were issued. Major deficiencies, which indicate situations where harm is imminent or has already occurred, accounted for 3.9 percent of the 50,431 nursing home violations that the department recorded during that period.
When deficiencies are so severe that residents suffer fatal injuries, you may assume that the penalties would be high for those who were responsible for the harm. However, although the maximum penalty is now $10,000, before 2008 it was only $2,000. In some cases, the fines were not charged until years after the violations were noted, and others were not penalized at all. Many believe that holding the Department of Health accountable for the lack of enforcement may improve the state of New York’s nursing home facilities. In the meantime, there appears to be a clear connection between the delay or lack of action taken by the state and the negligence that is occurring in nursing homes. Therefore, you may want to conduct a further examination of your loved one’s residence to make sure that it is a safe place.