Report 2014-111 Recommendation 11 Responses

Report 2014-111: California Department of Public Health: It Has Not Effectively Managed Investigations of Complaints Related to Long-Term Health Care Facilities (Release Date: October 2014)

Recommendation #11 To: Public Health, Department of

Public Health should take steps to ensure that PCB has the resources necessary on an ongoing basis to complete investigations of complaints against individuals. Specifically, Public Health should assess whether the temporary resources it has received are adequate to reduce the number of open complaints to a manageable level. This assessment should also determine whether permanent resources assigned to PCB are adequate to address future complaints. Public Health should use this assessment to request additional resources, if necessary.

Agency Response*

As previously stated, the Professional Certification Branch continues to reduce the number of open complaints to a manageable level while adequately addressing newly received complaints. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/CHCQPerformanceMetrics.aspx

An analysis of actual data regarding the number of complaints received, and investigations pending and completed in each of the last five full fiscal years was used to project data for the current and next three fiscal years. Based on the trends of the actual data and these projections, current staffing levels are adequate to address future complaints.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: July 2016
  • Response Date: September 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented

Public Health provided a budget change proposal (BCP), approved by the Department of Finance, requesting to convert 18 existing limited-term positions in its PCB to permanent positions and requesting two additional positions in its Office of Legal Services to improve the timeliness of investigation of complaints against caregivers. Public Health's BCP states that augmenting the existing analysts with position and spending authority by converting the 18 two-year limited-term positions will allow the PCB to improve the timeliness of complaint investigations from greater than one year to less than three months by fiscal year 2018-19. It also states that adding the two attorney positions to serve as the PCB's house counsel and litigation support will better represent Public Health at administrative appeal hearings.


Agency Response*

The performance metrics posted on our website indicates that PCB continues to reduce the number of open, aged complaints despite the increase of received complaints. As of September 30, 2015, all complaints received in fiscal year 2013/2014 were complete with the exception of three investigations with law enforcement barriers. There are 408 open complaints remaining from fiscal year 2014/2015 and 348 open complaints from fiscal year 2015/2016. This number of open, pending complaints is manageable with the temporary resources.

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/CHCQPerformanceMetrics.aspx

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: October 2015
  • Response Date: November 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

Although the data that Public Health references on its website show that it reduced the number of open complaints, it did not provide an assessment to determine whether the permanent resources assigned to PCB are adequate to address future complaints.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Agency Response*

As of April 1, 2015, PCB has filled all 18 new positions established in the Budget Act.

According to the performance metrics posted on our website, trends show that PCB continues to reduce the number of open, aged complaints. As of March 31, 2015, all complaints received in fiscal year 2012/2013 have been completed. There are 276 open complaints received in fiscal year 2013/2014 and 618 open complaints received in 2014/2015.

CDPH will continue to monitor and report progress of PCB's investigation as well as assess the staffing needs of PCB to perform this work.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 112/31/2015
  • Response Date: June 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

As of December 1, 2014, PCB has filled 15 of the 18 new positions established in the Budget Act and is recruiting to fill the remaining three positions.

On November 7, 2014, CDPH posted on our website performance metrics on the volume, timeliness, and disposition of complaints against certified individuals for the first quarter of the 2014-2015 state fiscal year.

As of December 5, 2013, PCB has further reduced the number of open, aging complaint investigations to 17 received in fiscal year 2012/2013, 609 received in fiscal year 2013/2014, and 409 received in fiscal year 2014/2015.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/15
  • Response Date: December 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

Public Health's response does not discuss whether it assessed the temporary resources and whether they are adequate to reduce the number of open complaints to a manageable level.


All Recommendations in 2014-111

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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