Deputy Legislative Auditor Judy Randall briefed a Senate committee today about the failings of the state’s Office of Health Facility Complaints or O-H-F-C in cases of elder abuse. The report faulted the department for missing deadlines on abuse investigations and deficiencies in staff training. Randall says “these problems took a long time to develop, they developed over years, and it’s going to take quite a while I think to really get to the place where we all expect OHFC to be.” More oversight and better staff training. Those are among the auditor’s recommendations of ways to improve the O-H-F-C and Randall says “it’s a hard job, I mean going out to nursing homes and investigating maltreatment allegations, that’s a hard job, and I think it’s even harder to do if the office you’re in isn’t working as well as it could be.” The Auditor’s office is also recommending that the Department of Human Services Commissioner have more oversight of the OHFC moving forward. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says she agrees with the recommendations in the state auditor’s report, and many of those areas of improvement are already being addressed.
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