The State Department of Health should get tough with nursing home operators and impose more fines for nursing-home health and safety standards.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released an audit Monday that finds the Health Department is lax when it comes to imposing fines, particularly for repeat health and safety violations in nursing homes.
The comptroller’s audit found the Health Department chose not to issue fines for violations accounting for 85 percent of the problems at nursing homes between Jan. 2012, and Sept. 2015. The department only issued fines for problems that resulted in harm to residents, which makes up four percent of the total violations.
Cortland County has three licensed nursing homes. Between 2007 and 2015 those homes were cited for 381 violations. Of those violations, 28 were deemed major deficiencies, which place patients in immediate harm.