"State survey agencies must conduct onsite investigations within certain timeframes for the two most serious levels of complaints-those that allege serious injury or harm to a nursing home resident and require a rapid response to address the complaint and ensure residents' safety. However, previous reports by OIG and the Government Accountability Office found that States did not conduct onsite investigations within the required timeframes for some of these complaints.
Each year, half of all nursing home complaints were at the level of seriousness that requires a prompt onsite investigation, and the most common allegations among these related to quality of care or treatment. During the period we reviewed, States conducted nearly all the required onsite investigations. Although almost all States conducted most of their onsite investigations within required timeframes, a few States fell short. Furthermore, almost one-quarter of States did not meet CMS's annual performance threshold for timely investigations of high priority complaints in all 5 years. Lastly, States substantiated (i.e., verified with evidence) almost one third of the most serious nursing home complaints.