State audit finds lapses at New York mental health agency

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An audit finds that New York’s Office of Mental Health isn’t complying with a state law requiring notifications to parents or guardians when a patient is injured or mistreated in a state-regulated institution.

The report released Friday by the office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli examined eight mental health facilities and determined officials aren’t doing enough to ensure facilities notify loved ones and often fail to provide requested information to parents or guardians in a timely manner.

DiNapoli says mental health officials must do more to ensure that parents and family members aren’t “kept in the dark” about the welfare of their loved one.

The agency disputed the audit’s findings in its formal response and in a statement said patient safety is its top priority.

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