Learn What to Do If You Believe Nursing Home Residents Are Facing Abuse
Elders who require regular medical attention and help completing daily tasks are among the most vulnerable members of our society. Because they are dependent on others for their basic needs, they may be forced to endure neglect, abuse, or other harmful behavior without having any way to protect themselves or report those who mistreat them. It is up to outside observers and advocates to hold unfit caregivers accountable, along with their employers.
There are multiple regulatory measures and procedures that can be deployed if you suspect a nursing home has been neglecting and/or abusing its patients. From working with a serious law firm like Brown & Barron, LLC to involving government officials, here are the ways you can file a complaint against a harmful facility and what you can expect to come of each.
Start a Government Investigation Through the Office of Health Care Quality
Nursing homes are regulated by both state and federal law and can face penalties ranging from fines to license revocation if they do not comply with the rules. You can file a complaint if you or a family member received subpar treatment, were neglected, or otherwise saw your rights violated while in a nursing home.
How to File
Call the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality at (410) 402-8108 or email a complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
What Happens After I File?
The Maryland government aims to address complaints as quickly as possible. You should expect a confirmation your complaint has been received by the Board of Examiners and Nursing Home Administrators and may also be contacted for more information. If there are apparent violations of state law, the matter will be passed to the Health Occupations Investigator for a full inquiry. If the Board believes the matter falls outside their jurisdiction, they will refer your complaint to another agency and inform you of the change. If your case is closed without action being taken, the Board will send you a notice.
Complain About an Individual Care Provider through Board Offices
If you have a complaint about a member of your or a loved one’s care team, you can take it directly to the state Board responsible for overseeing members of the profession. This may result in consequences directed toward the individual(s) directly responsible for abusing or neglecting patients.
Filing Your Complaint
To submit a complaint about a physician, visit the Maryland Board of Physicians online.
To submit a complaint about a Medication Technician (MT), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Professional Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), contact the Maryland Board of Nursing. Its phone numbers are 1-888-202-9861 or 410-585-1900, or you can visit its complaint portal to download a complaint form that can be submitted digitally or mailed to the organization.
What Will Happen Next
Both the Board of Physicians and Board of Nursing will investigate the individual accused of malpractice. The process may take a year or more and you may or may not be contacted to provide testimony. If the individual is found guilty of violating the law, they may face disciplinary action. Even if they are not guilty of illegal behavior, the Board may choose to inform their employer if the investigation uncovered worrisome conduct.
Take Action Through Ombudsman and Related Services
An ombudsman is a citizen representative who can be brought in as a third party to review and mediate disputes or complaints. Maryland’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides nursing home residents with a contact to whom they can report wrongdoing confidentially. An ombudsman can provide resources and assistance in escalating concerns as necessary.
The ombudsman program also supports resident and family councils that are open to all nursing home residents and patient family members, respectively. Nursing home administrators are not allowed to interfere with these programs’ operations and must respond to concerns and recommendations submitted by their members.
Making a Complaint
When a new patient is admitted into a nursing home, they must be provided with contact information for the state or local ombudsman and a current member of the family council. If you were not given this information or cannot find it, you can find your local ombudsman through the Maryland Department of Aging.
Your local ombudsman can guide you through making a complaint, either directly or through one of the councils. You should know they will not take any action unless you specifically request it, to ensure your privacy is protected.
Filing a Legal Claim for Compensation
All the methods listed above are ways of disciplining nursing homes or their staff when they don’t follow the law. While they may lead to a dismissal of unqualified caregivers or changes in policy, they do not provide direct recourse for patients and their families who were harmed by such actions.
Nursing home neglect and abuse can cause serious physical and mental health conditions that can steal years from our loved ones. Those who were treated this way deserve the chance to file for compensation for damages including medical bills and pain and suffering. Brown & Barron, LLC can help you file a legal claim if you or a loved one suffered nursing home neglect.
What Filing a Claim Looks Like
You will not be responsible for the bureaucratic or technical processes when you work with Brown & Barron, LLC. We handle everything from investigating your claim fully to putting together a settlement request to making sure your case is filed correctly and in a timely manner. You can be as involved as you want to, and we will always keep you up to date on the status of your case.
What Happens After I File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
You can expect a nursing home to fight back against a claim because its owners doubtless want to avoid having to pay a large settlement. Our attorneys will go toe-to-toe with them to protect your right to compensation. We keep fighting for our clients until their cases have been fully resolved. We are ready to take your case to trial if the nursing home does not want to settle fairly. Few nursing home abuse cases end up in court, but if yours needs to be presented to a jury, you can be confident in our team, which has been the lead counsel in over 100 trials.
We Can Help You Fight Back Against Nursing Home Abuse
Filing a claim is the best way for an injured resident or their surviving family to have their voice heard. Medical providers who do not give their patients the best care possible must be held accountable for their grave betrayal of your trust and the vows of their profession. We are dedicated to helping the victims of medical malpractice fight for justice.
Filing a nursing home abuse case can bring about real change for your family and other patients who may also be suffering neglect. It can help remove unfit caregivers and lead to large-scale reforms.
Most importantly, you do not have to go through this alone. Our team is known for our excellent service—we are available 24/7 to answer your questions. If you are ready to take on a nursing home for its poor treatment of patients, Brown & Barron, LLC is on your side.
Call our nursing home abuse attorneys today at (410) 698-1717 for a free and confidential consultation. We have recovered hundreds of millions for our clients.