How to File a Complaint Against a Nursing Home in Indiana

Nursing Home Complaints

The state of Indiana has a very good system in place for the reporting of complaints that you may have against a nursing home. They take these complaints very seriously. While you may feel that there is nothing that can be done, what you may not realize is that others may have made similar complaints. So, while your complaint standing alone might not mean as much, when taken together with other similar complaints, suddenly the state can recognize that in all probability a serious problem does indeed exist, and they can take steps, and will take steps, to correct those problems.

Complaint to the State of Indiana

On the website of the state of Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Health gives a very detailed explanation of how to report a complaint against a nursing home for abuse, or for other problems or issues (cleanliness, medication issues, financial issues, etc). That explanation is reproduced below for your convenience, or you can see it on their site in the link above.

The Division of Long Term Care of the Indiana State Department of Health is committed to being attentive to your concerns about the care and services provided by an Indiana health care facility. We encourage you to initially alert the administration of the facility of your concerns in an effort to provide the facility opportunity to internally address and correct concerns immediately. If you have done this and feel that further investigation is needed, call our toll-free complaint number: 1-800-246-8909.

Please include your name, address, and phone number when writing or emailing.

You may send written complaints to:

Indiana State Department of Health
Division of Long Term Care
2 North Meridian Street, 4B
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Or email complaints to complaints@isdh.in.gov.

It is recommended that you take the time to document any complaints by simply taking notes.
Guidelines for Reporting a Complaint

Please include the following information when reporting a complaint:

Location:
1) Name of the facility
2) City where the facility is located

Date:
Try to recall the date (if a specific date is applicable) of the occurrence you will be addressing. If there is no specific date, attempt to address the time period (e.g., weekdays, weekends, within the last week, within the last month, etc.) relative to when the concern was observed.

Time:
Address the time of day (or shift) during which your concern was observed or is most prevalent (e.g., 7 a.m., day shift, evening shift, night shift, etc.).

Individuals Involved:
Address individuals (or departments) involved in the concern you are reporting (e.g., nursing staff, certified nurse aides, dietary staff, etc.).

Specifics of the Occurrence:
Keep in mind a concern is much more likely to be confirmed if you are specific in your reporting. For example, if you believe the care to be poor, examples of the behavior you have observed that define what you are referring to as “poor care” should be reported.

Example: If you are dissatisfied with meal service, it is best to describe with what aspect you are dissatisfied with (e.g., food temperature, presentation, taste, etc.).
Example: If you don’t think the facility is sanitary, specifically state what makes it unsanitary (e.g., dust, debris, soiled floors, etc.).

Timely Reporting:
It is imperative that we be notified of your concerns in a timely manner. It is difficult to effectively gather information surrounding an incident that has occurred months before. To assist in accurate and thorough investigations, we ask that you report a concern as soon as possible following its initial occurrence or observation.

After a Complaint Is Filed:
The name of the person who files a complaint and any specific medical information given in the complaint is confidential. Within 7-10 days after you call, you will receive a letter from the Long Term Care Complaint Department verifying that we have received your complaint and we are going to investigate. Complaints are investigated in order of severity. For example, complaints involving immediate threats to a resident’s health care and safety receive top priority.

During the investigation, surveyors will attempt to contact you to gather additional information.

After the investigation has been completed, we will inform you in writing of the results of the investigation.

If you want to be contacted, please include your name, address, and phone number when writing or e-mailing.

More Questions?

If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to call our toll free complaint number: 1-800-246-8909.

In an effort to gather information necessary to effectively investigate a complaint, this information has been designed to provide you with guidance prior to placing a call to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Although it is not mandatory to provide all of the listed information, it is helpful for the investigative process.

TOLL-FREE COMPLAINT NUMBER

1-800-246-8909

E-mail complaints

When emailing complaints@isdh.in.gov, please include your name, address, and phone number.

As you commit the time and effort to report concerns in an accurate and timely manner, we at the Indiana State Department of Health commit to you that those concerns will be reviewed and investigated to ensure that the best care possible be provided by health care facilities in Indiana.

If your complaint is very serious, do not just file your complaint with the state. They can help investigate, but seriously consider getting an attorney involved early into the process. The attorney will subpoena all the records of the state that is gathered in the investigation, among other things, and will be in a position to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of your loved one against the nursing home, if there is merit to the complaint. Abuse or neglect of a loved one by a nursing home should not be tolerated. The statistics are rising, and we, as a society, should no longer tolerate nursing home abuse of our loved ones.

Loved one in nursing home and abused?



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