Finding out about the abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home is a painful discovery. You trusted the nursing home to take care of your loved one. That trust has been violated.
This discovery is also just the start of a complicated process: You have to report the suspected violation to the proper authorities, and you have to find a new facility for your loved one. Each of these two steps can be challenging. Together, they may be overwhelming. However, you do have resources at your disposal to help you begin the process.
If you suspect your loved one has been harmed by a nursing home’s violation of state and federal regulations, contact Powers & Santola, LLP. We can help you to get through the early stages of responding to the violations. Call or reach us online today to receive a free consultation. We serve clients in Albany, Syracuse and throughout New York.
How to Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in New York
Nursing home neglect is a serious issue that affects a particularly vulnerable segment of the population. Since 1977, the state of New York has been legally required to investigate all allegations of abuse, mistreatment and neglect, including violations of state and federal regulations.
All licensed professionals working in nursing homes are required to report any instances of abuse, mistreatment or neglect they witness. Outside parties may also report complaints. Once a complaint is registered, it is assigned to surveillance staff members, who then initiate an investigation.
In recent years, New York has been investigating complaints more aggressively and more quickly. During a recent five-year period, there was a 46 percent rise in the number of neglect cases in which violations of state and federal regulations were identified, the NYS Department of Health reports. According to the department’s most recent annual report, 25 percent of complaints were investigated within 11 days.
Complaints may concern abuse by a specific nursing home employee, but they may also be related to a nursing home’s general policies and procedures. If the suspected violation puts nursing home residents in immediate jeopardy, you may also contact law enforcement directly.
To submit a complaint, follow the NYS Department of Health’s instructions. You can use the online complaint form or call the Nursing Home Complaint Hotline at (888) 201-4563.
You should be ready to provide information about:
- The resident and your relationship to him or her
- The nursing home, including the resident’s room number
- The details of your concern, including the involvement of staff members, other residents and any witnesses.
How to Move Your Loved One to a Safer Place
Once you have reported the suspected violation, your key concern will be moving your loved one into a safe new home. Resources you can use to get started in your search include:
- New York Nursing Home Profiles – This resource lets you search for nursing homes by region or county, including Albany and Onandaga counties. You can also search by special services your loved one may need such as physical therapy. This resource also provides information about alternatives to nursing homes.
- CMS Nursing Home Compare – Medicare maintains this online database of nursing homes all across the country. They are rated on a five-star system that reflects health inspection ratings, staff ratings, overall quality and special services provided.
- Federal Remedies and Section 12 Fines – You can also check this list of New York nursing homes that have been cited for Immediate Jeopardy, Substandard Quality of Care or repeated deficiencies. It can help you avoid moving your loved one into a new home that has a history of violations.
These online resources are a good starting point. However, you should not rely on them alone. Once you have used them to narrow down your options, you should visit the nursing homes that interest you. You can speak with staff members, physicians and residents to see if the home will be the best fit for your loved one.
Contact a New York Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney
If your loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse at a nursing home, you have the right to pursue justice and compensation on his or her behalf. At Powers & Santola, LLP, we can help right from the very beginning of the process. If you come to us, we can ensure that the details of the suspected violation are directed to the proper authorities.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we understand how difficult and often painful the process can be at the start. We will carefully take you through every step you need to take to make sure your loved one is protected. To learn more, call or connect with us online today.
Sources / More Information
- Nursing Home Resident Abuse and Complaint Investigation Program Report January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012, NYS Department of Health
- Federal Remedies and Section 12 Fines, NYS Department of Health
- New York Nursing Home Profiles, NYS Department of Health
- Nursing Home Compare, Medicare.gov