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Nursing Home Complaints

There are state agencies responsible for managing nursing home complaints. Nursing home complaints can be filed by anyone who has experienced, witnessed, or has sufficient knowledge of a nursing home law violation or other instance of malpractice or abuse. The prevalence of nursing home malpractice in the United States is alarming. By some statistics nearly thirty percent of all nursing homes in our nation have committed at least one serious act of abuse or neglect against a patient or patients.

As a result of these high rates of abuse, the federal government enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. This law created minimum standards for the quality of care to be provided to nursing home residents. The federal government also established regulatory bodies that periodically evaluate all nursing home facilities for compliance. These agencies order corrective action and give penalties where necessary. State agencies have also been established to handle nursing home complaints.

Every state has a government department which receives nursing home complaints and manages them accordingly. Any person can file nursing home complaints about any aspect of the care or services provided by a nursing home facility. These aspects can include staffing, treatment, safety, neglect, intentional harm, and the like. Nursing home complaints should be filed when the problem is serious and all other options of resolution have been explored.

Nursing home complaints can be made in person or in writing. Most experts recommend that you retain a copy of all of your nursing home complaints so that you have a detailed record of what has taken place. Nursing home complaints should include a number of specific facts like your name, address, phone number, and relationship to the resident(s) in question. The name and address of the nursing home facility should be included as should the names or descriptions of the involved staff. The date and time of the incident, the details of the event(s), and the records that may need to be examined should also be included in nursing home complaints.

The laws regarding the exact handling of nursing home complaints may vary slightly by state. In general, most states have a policy requiring that investigation of nursing home complaints begin one to two weeks after they are filed. If nursing home complaints involve an immediate threat, the investigation must begin within 24 hours. Individuals who file legitimate nursing home complaints have the right to be free from retaliation, to remain anonymous, to receive a response, and to accompany the investigator to the site if desired.

State agencies handle a large volume of nursing home complaints. While these agencies fulfill an important and valuable obligation, filing nursing home complaints through them does not guarantee that you will be satisfied with the results.

If you are dissatisfied with the results of your nursing home complaints or wish to pursue further action, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney who can determine your legal rights and options!