When you and your loved one decide it’s time for them to move into a nursing home to get the care they need, you’ll undoubtedly want to find the best facility for them. With so many facilities to choose from, the decision isn’t always easy. When you do pick one, however, you expect the nursing home to provide their residents with outstanding and attentive care.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, more than 80,000 state residents live in more than 700 nursing homes throughout the state. When a nursing home fails to provide the 24-hour, long-term care they are required to provide, a report can be made to ensure the facility is investigated and the residents are safe.
Reporting Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse
If you believe your loved one is being mistreated, neglected, or abused in their nursing home, you can file a concern or complaint with the state’s Department of Health. You have five options when it comes to filing the report:
- Call 1-800-254-5164
- Use the online complaint form
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send mail to the following address:
Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Division of Nursing Care Facilities
625 Forster St., Room 526, Health and Welfare Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701
- Fax 717-772-2163
For complaints regarding an assisted living facility, call 877-401-8835.
If you choose to call the hotline, you may speak directly with a Department of Health professional. Depending on the situation, Ombudsman could get involved. Regardless of your contact method, you’ll want to provide the facility name, the specific issue related to care and services provided to your loved one, and any details required for an investigation to be completed.
Mandatory Abuse Reporting in Pennsylvania
The Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA), mandates reporting requirements on suspected elder abuse. In the event any employee or administrator of a facility suspects abuse in a nursing home, they are required to report the abuse to the local Area Agency on Aging, licensing agencies, Department of Aging, and local law enforcement.
What Happens After a Concern or Complaint Is Filed?
When you report a nursing home to the state of Pennsylvania, an employee from the Department of Health will receive the information and an investigation will be conducted. The investigation will involve speaking with the facility and your loved one, as well as examining the facility in relation to the required standards. They may also speak to other residents. If it’s clear your loved one is in immediate danger, they will be removed from the facility and receive proper medical attention.
In some instances, it’s possible a criminal investigation could be opened against the nursing home. Recently in Pennsylvania, Attorney General Shapiro announced that several PA nursing homes were being investigated for potential criminal neglect of patients and residents in like of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a concern relating to wellness checks, adequate PPE, or COVID-19 testing in your loved one’s facility, contact our attorneys.
Complaints are not the only time investigations are conducted. Every year, the PA Department of Health conducts inspections through the form of surveys. Survey teams, who arrive unannounced and at any time of the day, examine how well the nursing home ensures its resident feel at home and how well the nursing home provides care while meeting the minimum regulatory standards. They also use tools to determine the quality of care and quality of life of the facility’s residents.
In the event problems are identified, surveyors have to decide how serious the problem is and the nursing home has to submit a correction plan. Depending on the severity of the problem, the nursing home could face penalties.
Protect Your Loved One With Help From Shrager & Sachs, LLC
In the event you’ve had to report your loved one’s nursing home facility for abuse and you’re now helping them cope with the trauma and pain they’ve been through, a nursing home abuse lawyer from Shrager & Sachs can help you take legal action.
We believe negligent facilities and their employees should be held accountable for their actions. We recognize that going up against a nursing home can seem intimidating, but your loved one deserves compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. When you pursue a personal injury claim on their behalf, you’ll be on the path to obtaining that compensation.
To learn more about filing a claim, schedule a consultation with our firm today. We’ll explain your family’s legal rights and options and help you protect and secure your loved one’s future. Contact us today for more information.