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How to File a Nursing Home Complaint

Authored By: Legal Hotline for Texans
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It is against Texas law to abuse, exploit or neglect a person living in a nursing home.

If you or someone you know has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, you must file a complaint. It is a crime to know about abuse and not report it!

 

How do I file a complaint about abuse or neglect in a nursing home?

Follow these 3 steps:

o   Call the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

o   Write a report about the abuse.

o   Send copies of the report to federal and state agencies.

1. Call the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services right away.

Speak to someone in the Complaint Intake Unit — Investigations at: 1-800-458-9858.

(For general information, call: 1-800-252-8016.)

Tell them:

o   The name and address of the person who was abused or neglected

o   The name of the person’s caretaker, if you know

o   How the person was abused or neglected

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services investigates very serious cases within 24 hours. They have 60 days to investigate less serious cases.

2. Write a report about the abuse or neglect.

Your report should include:

o   Your name, address and telephone number

o   The name and address of the person who was abused or neglected

o   The name of the person’s caretaker, if you know

o   How the person was abused or neglected

3.  Send a copy of your report to state and federal agencies that regulate nursing homes or give them money.

The state agency that regulates nursing homes is:

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services

Nursing Facility Administrative Program

P.O. Box 149030

Box Y-978

Austin, Texas 78714-9030

The federal agency that funds nursing homes is:

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services

HHS TIPS Fraud Hotline

P.O. Box 23489

Washington, D.C. 20026

Phone: 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477)

Fax: 1-800-223-8161 (up to 10 pages)

Email: hhstips@oig.hhs.gov

You should also send a copy of your report to your state and federal representatives and senators.

What happens to the nursing home if I file a complaint?

Most nursing homes get money from the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid. A nursing home must meet government standards to get Medicare or Medicaid money.

 

If you complain, you are saying that the nursing home may not meet government standards. They would be at risk of losing their funding.

For more information…

Texas Law Help has useful information on many areas of the law.

Go to www.texaslawhelp.org.

 

Speak to a lawyer at the Legal Hotline for Texans:  (800) 622-2520

                                                                                              (512) 477-3950

Advice is free for Texans 60 and over or for anyone eligible for Medicare.

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