Commissioner: State tackling backlog of elder abuse cases

ST. PAUL  — State regulators outlined a plan to lawmakers Wednesday for speeding up investigations of elder abuse and reducing Minnesota’s backlog of unresolved cases.

Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper told a state Senate committee that a team of state officials is sorting through thousands of reports of maltreatment in senior homes. More than 2,300 reports have never been reviewed by state regulators because of poor record-keeping and other inefficiencies at the state agency charged with protecting seniors. Another 826 maltreatment cases have been assigned for investigation but never resolved, the Star Tribune reported.

The state Health Department now has a plan to eliminate that backlog by December.

“We are working to ensure that loved ones are not left in the dark and complaint investigations are completed in a timely manner,” Piper told senators.