Where Do I File a Complaint Against a Nursing Home?
We finally break down and put our loved ones in an Illinois nursing home; we often do so because we expect them to receive the around-the-clock support and skilled care we can’t provide them. Like any other business, a Marion nursing home may not live up to expectations. A single staff member may be negligent or abusive of your nursing home resident loved one, causing harm they shouldn’t have had to endure.
Learning that your loved one has been subjected to mistreatment they shouldn’t have can be hard to come to terms with. You likely want to ensure that your relative nor anyone else has to face the same mistreatment again. One way to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself is to report what happened to the appropriate authorities to do something about it. Below, we’ll answer the question, “Where do I file a complaint against a nursing home in Illinois?”
Agencies That Regulate Illinois Nursing Homes
Before we address who to file a nursing home complaint with, it’s important to understand more about the different agencies that oversee our state’s nursing homes. The various private organizations and state agencies are involved in the licensure, inspection, and regulation of Illinois nursing homes, including:
- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH): This agency oversees Illinois nursing homes, making sure that they comply with all applicable state-specific regulations.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): This is a federal agency that often has the IDPH, acting on its behalf, conduct audits and inspections of facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare payments to ensure they’re adequately adhering to federal rules, policies and procedures, regulations, and financial recordkeeping standards. These surveys also assess the quality of these facilities’ staffing and equipment. This federal agency also investigates 6,000 annual complaints.
- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO): Is a private national accreditation agency that performs independent inspections on some member Illinois nursing homes to assess their performance.
What Are Some of the Most Common Complaints Made About Nursing Homes?
It’s also important to understand what types of complaints regarding nursing homes often get lodged. The leading factors that lead nursing home residents or their loved ones to levy complaints against these assisted living facilities include:
- Interrupted sleep
- Losses of money or valuable personal belongings
- Social isolation, including restricting who can visit and the hours they can do so
- Inferior care received from poorly trained staff
- Inattentiveness to resident requests for assistance
- Staff unwillingness to address resident conflicts or adequately maintain a hygienic environment
- Food quality issues
Where To File Complaints Against Illinois Nursing Homes
Now, let’s get to how to lodge complaints against nursing homes regarding some of the above factors or anything else of concern.
Complaints regarding nursing homes in Marion and elsewhere in our state should be filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The state agency’s hotline for doing so is 1-800-252-4343; however, it’s only staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The teletypewriter (TTY) number for hearing-impaired individuals is 1-800-547-0466. The IDPH also accepts a Health Care Facilities Complaints Form by e-mail, fax, and standard mail.
Who Can File Nursing Home Complaints in Illinois?
Any number of individuals, including the following, are eligible to file nursing home complaints with the IDPH:
- A nursing home’s staff member
- A resident or their family member
- A caregiver
- A representative from an advocacy group
It is possible to file complaints anonymously. However, a complainant can receive confirmation of their filing and updates on the status of the case by providing their contact information.
Information To Provide When Filing Complaints Against Nursing Homes in Illinois
The more information you have accessible to you, the better when it comes to reporting a complaint about a Marion nursing home. Some details that would be helpful for you to share with the IDPH hotline representative include:
- Who the parties involved are (facility, staff member, and resident)
- Where did the concerning acts being reported occur?
- When the incident occurred and how long it has persisted (if it’s ongoing)
- What type of ill-treatment has the resident been subjected to (i.e., abuse or neglect)?
- If you previously reported the issue to the facility involved
- Details about the harm the resident may have suffered
Additional Options for Entering Complaints Against Illinois Nursing Homes
The Illinois Department of Aging (IDOA) has a senior helpline, which is 1-800-252-8966, where older individuals with questions or concerns can reach out if they need to be pointed in the right direction for help. The IDOA also has an Adult Protective Services report abuse hotline which is 1-866-800-1409 or 711, via the telecommunication relay service (TRS) for hearing-impaired individuals.
Another option to consider in filing a complaint about an Illinois nursing home is to contact a nursing home abuse attorney like ours at Prince Law Firm. We’ll want to know more details about the abuse or neglect your loved one has endured. Knowing this information will help us in outlining the best course of action to pursue, whether it’s reporting your concerns to:
- The nursing home’s administration
- The Illinois Department of Public Health
- The Illinois Department of Aging
- Some other government or private agencies, including law enforcement
How a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Can Support You With Your Complaint
Any kind of ill-treatment your nursing home resident loved one is forced to endure, including abuse and neglect, can have a negative impact on them. It can cause them to suffer from mental health concerns that carry with them physical implications. While you can’t erase what they’ve been through, you can at least put an end to it and ensure no one else has to face the same treatment again by taking action. Our Marion, IL law firm can help you do that.
Your filing of a nursing home abuse lawsuit may allow you to recover financial compensation to ensure your loved one is able to receive the best possible medical care in their rehabilitation process. And the good news is that there’s no cost associated with discussing what your best option is, whether it’s to file a formal complaint with a state agency or a civil lawsuit against the nursing home. So, we look forward to you reaching out to us to have that conversation about what your loved one has been through today.