State audit finds delay in nursing home fines
The New York State Health Department is the state agency responsible for imposing fines on nursing homes when safety violations occur. In 2007, the average time to issue a fine was six months. Currently, it takes the State Health Department an average of four years to levy a fine. Typically, fines are placed when there is an immediate danger to patient safety. There are 631 nursing homes in New York State.
The audit found that in 2011 the Health Department levied 62 fines. From January 2014 through July 2015, 12 fines were levied.
According to the Erie County Department of Senior Services there are 34 nursing homes in Erie County located in East Aurora, Eden, Orchard Park, Hamburg, Getzville, Clarence, Williamsville, Buffalo, Amherst, Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Grand Island, Kenmore, Springville, Lackawanna, and West Seneca.
Nursing homes charge large monthly fees for their services. They are required to comply with minimum safety standards in the care of our seniors, and other nursing home residents. Too often they fail to provide minimum care, resulting in harm and injury to the loved ones in our community. When discovered, this may result in a fine issued by the New York State Department of Health. Also, an individual or family may have a private cause of action to bring a lawsuit in New York State Court for harm caused directly by the neglect or failure to comply with minimum safety standards, resulting in injury or death to our loved ones.