February 19, 2018
Joint statement from MDH and DHS Commissioners
Starting this week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will be posting weekly reports on the MDH website to show the progress of our inter-agency partnership in addressing the problems documented in the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC). As this reporting process begins, MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Acting DHS Commissioner Chuck Johnson issued the following statement:
“The goal of our inter-agency partnership is to ensure the timely and thorough complaint investigations that Minnesota families expect and deserve. We are deeply committed to this work, and will not rest until every Minnesota family gets the highest level of service and care.
“We have made important and urgently needed progress, particularly with regard to reducing the case backlog. At the beginning of 2018, there were 2,321 complaint reports awaiting triage and 826 open investigations, for a combined total backlog of 3,147 complaints. As of February 12th, 2,034 of those triaged complaints had been evaluated and closed. Another 92 were recommended for on-site investigations, and ongoing assessment is needed for 195. By March, we will have completed assessment for this latter category. For open investigations, we have already completed 309 investigations and we are on track to close the remaining 517 open cases by the end of 2018.
“We have more work ahead to further improve OHFC processes, and to ensure that the state is effectively triaging, investigating and ensuring accountability in reported cases of elder abuse and neglect. In addition, we are committed to working with legislators, private-sector care providers, Minnesota families and other stakeholders to reduce the unacceptably high number of reported incidents of vulnerable adult abuse and neglect coming out of the private elder care system.
“We look forward to working with all partners to further improve our investigations processes, increase communication, and ensure the health, safety, and dignity of vulnerable adults in Minnesota.”