DAL 01-08: Patient Abuse Reporting Requirement for Residents of Nursing Homes
September 6, 2001
RE: Patient Abuse Reporting Requirement for Residents of Nursing Homes
The purpose of this letter is to reaffirm with hospitals the obligations imposed on facility personnel to report suspected instances of physical abuse, mistreatment and neglect of residents of nursing homes in accordance with the Patient Abuse Reporting Law (Public Health Law Section 2803-d). Each hospital should ensure that its medical staff, directors of nursing and emergency services are aware of these obligations and ensure that in-service and continuing education programs confirm the reporting obligations of all licensed personnel who treat nursing home residents in the hospital emergency room or who require inpatient admission.
Staff of nursing homes and hospitals are required to report suspected instances of "abuse, mistreatment, and neglect" in order to protect the health and safety of persons residing in nursing homes. If there is reasonable cause to suspect that abuse, mistreatment and neglect has occurred in the nursing home, it needs to be promptly reported to the Department. The failure of licensed health care personnel to report instances of physical abuse, mistreatment and neglect for patients who are residents of nursing homes is professional misconduct subject to a civil penalty.
Previously, reports were made to individual area offices. In May 2001, the Department established a central intake number for the reporting of complaints. Telephone reports should be made to the Department at the statewide toll free Nursing Home Hotline number (1-888-201-4563). The Nursing Home Hotline may be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week to report situations requiring action. The Hotline is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during normal business days. Messages received after 5:00 p.m. on business days and on weekends and holidays will be retrieved and reviewed by on-call personnel. The hospital should retain a written record of all such reports. In addition, for your reference a directory of the Department's Regional and Area Offices is enclosed.
Should you have any questions regarding this directive or wish additional information of the Patient Abuse Reporting Program for nursing home residents, you may contact the Regional or Area Offices serving your area or contact the Bureau of Hospital and Primary Care Services at (518) 402-1003.
Wayne M. Osten
Office of Health Systems Management
ENC: Directory of the Department's Regional and Area Offices