When Your Home Is Inspected

The New York State Department of Health's Annual Inspection and Your Rights as a Resident

Inspection Process

The New York State Department of Health is responsible for carrying out complete inspections of Adult Care Facilities including adult homes, enriched housing programs, and residences for adults. The purpose of these inspections, also called surveys, is to ensure that your residence is meeting all required regulations and that your home is a safe place to live. Some homes are inspected every 12 months, while others are inspected every 18 months. The Department of Health determines the inspection cycle for your home, based on the care provided by your home at the time of the previous inspection.

The Inspection Team is made up of a number of individuals that are responsible for assessing different aspects of your home. The Survey Team may include a:

  • Social Worker
  • Nurse
  • Environmental Person
  • Fire Safety Person
  • Nutritionist

The Activities of the Inspection Team

The survey includes the following activities:

  • A walk-through of your home, including visits to resident rooms
  • A meeting with the operator and/or other staff from your home
  • A review of the fire safety system to ensure that it is in working order
  • Observation of meals and examination of daily menus
  • Observation of medication distribution
  • Review of facility records, employee records, and resident records including financial records
  • Interviews with at least five residents
  • After the survey is completed, an exit interview with staff from the home, during which the Survey Team will discuss the initial findings of the inspection

Your Right to Participate

You have the right to take part in the inspection process at your home. As a resident, you are an expert in what happens in your home. The Survey Team relies on residents to provide information on the quality of life in the home to understand the degree to which your needs are being met. You also have the right not to participate in the process. You can decline to speak to an inspector, or end your participation at any time.

Should you decide to participate, there are several ways you can do so:

  • Taking part in a formal interview
  • Requesting to speak to a surveyor alone or with a group of residents
  • Requesting that your resident council pass on information to the surveyors for you
  • Encouraging family or friends who are familiar with the conditions in your home to speak to the surveyors.

Other Ways You Can Be Involved

Between inspections, you can take an active role in the care your home provides by:

  • Participating in resident council meetings
  • Participating in the events of community groups and agencies that are interested in improving resident's home life
  • Becoming familiar with consumer-led organizations of adult care facilities, nursing home residents and resident council groups that are interested in addressing your needs as a resident.
  • Reporting any new or ongoing problems to the Adult Home Hotline at (866) 893-6772. This is a good option particularly if you do not feel comfortable speaking with a surveyor during the inspection. You can call the Adult Home Hotline at any time, 24 hours a day and you do not have to leave your name if you don't want to.

Your Right to Confidentiality

It is important that you know your rights regarding confidentiality in the Inspection Process. Before agreeing to participate in an inspection, you may want to ask the inspector the following questions:

  1. How will the information I provide be used?
  2. Who will have access to the information?

If non-compliance is found and the operator is cited, information provided by residents may be confidentially included in the Inspection Report. Your home receives this report 30 to 35 days after the inspection has been completed. All homes must post this report in a common area. If it is not posted, or you would like a copy for yourself, you may want to consider calling the Adult Home Hotline. Residents are identified by a number within the report not by name. The Department of Health's first priority is ensuring your well-being and safety and protecting you from any type of retaliation from your home.

New York State Department of Health Regional Offices and Other State Agencies

Capital District Regional Office
NYS Department of Health
875 Central Ave.
Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 408-5287
Fax: (518) 408-5309

Central New York Regional Office
NYS Department of Health
217 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 477-8472
Fax: (315) 477-8583

Metropolitan Area Regional Office - Long Island
NYS Department of Health
320 Carleton Avenue, Suite 5000
Central Islip, NY 11722
Phone: (631) 851-3098/3099
Fax: (631) 851-4323

Metropolitan Area Regional Office - NYC
NYS Department of Health
90 Church Street
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 417-4440
Fax: (212) 417-5808

Western Regional Office
NYS Department of Health
335 Main Street, 1st floor
Rochester, NY 14604
Phone: (585) 423-8185
Fax: (585) 423-8171

NYS Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229
Phone: (800) 597-8481

Adult Home Hotline
Phone: (866) 893-6772

Adapted from pamphlets entitled "Your Role in the Survey Process", issued by the American Health Care Association, and "When Your Nursing Home is Inspected", issued by the New York State Department of Health.A Publication of the New York State Department of Health and the Coalition of Institutionalized Aged and Disabled.

Publication 1494, 02/07