OHFC Funding

2017

During the 2017 legislative session, Elder Voice supported increased funding to the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for additional staff and resources to investigate more maltreatment complaints. With OHFC investigating less than 10% of family reports of maltreatment and less than 1% of provider self-reports, a significant infusion of funding is necessary. Many Elder Voice members testified before the legislature in support of the increased funding, based on their own experiences with OHFC.

 

For example, concerns related to the OHFC process were expressed in the following areas:

  • Unclear and Difficult Intake Process for Complaints

  • Number of Complaints Not Investigated

  • Inadequate and Delayed Investigations

  • Lack of Communication to Family Members

  • Inadequate Plans of Correction and Assessment of Penalties

  • Lack of Transparency in Public Reporting of Investigations

  • Difficulty Navigating OHFC Website

  • Unfair Appeals Process for Families and Vulnerable Adults

Office of Legislative Auditor Report on OHFC

2017

Working with legislators and the public during the 2017 legislative session, Elder Voice members were successful in supporting an Office of Legislative Auditor (OLA) program evaluation of the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC).  Along with supporting additional funding for OHFC, Elder Voice recognized the need for greater understanding and reform of process given the significant increase in the number of vulnerable adults as well as the increase in substantiated maltreatment.  Members enthusiastically supported the OLA evaluation, writing letters, making phone calls, and meeting with key legislators asking them to vote for an OHFC evaluation over the 121 evaluation requests made.  Once OLA decided to evaluate OHFC, Elder Voice members then met individually as well as in a group with the OLA to share their insights into the process.  Members will continue to work with OLA through their reporting time of approximately January 2018, in the hopes that their review will strengthen the process, accountability and outcomes of the OHFC.

Collaborating with Partners

2017

Elder Voice members have collaborated with other organizations on issues where common goals exist.  For example, Elder Voice worked alongside the Minnesota Elder Justice Center during the Electronic Monitoring Work Group to provide family member input on cameras in the long-term care setting; testified before the legislature with AARP in support of increased funding for OHFC; and continues to support and look for future collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association on care concerns for those with dementia.  Elder Voice will continue to collaborate in the future where appropriate.

2017 Elder Voice Family Advocates