Minnesota health chief out after reports of abuse at state's nursing homes not being investigated

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Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, M.D., M.S.P.H., resigned suddenly Tuesday, following several media reports that criticized his agency for failing to protect seniors from neglect and abuse.

In November, the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune ran a five-part series detailing the allegations. Reporters found nursing home residents and family members who complained of neglect, abuse or robbery often saw their cases go unnoticed by state investigators.

The state Department of Health is responsible for licensing and oversight of senior care centers. Dan Pollock, the deputy health commissioner, replaced Ehlinger on an interim basis Wednesday, according to TwinCities.com.

In February, the Pioneer Press reported that several lawmakers were “outraged” to learn the health department investigated 10% of the 3,400 complaints it received about public nursing homes and home-care treatment. In 2016, just 1% of nearly 21,000 cases were investigated through on-site investigations when facilities self-reported incidents.