How to Prepare Your Nursing Home Complaint and Who to Contact
The Illinois Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates and inspects Illinois nursing homes and long-term care facilities under the state’s licensing acts, regulations, and federal Medicare Conditions of Participation. The state’s 24-hour a day Nursing Home Hotline receives nearly 19,000 complaint calls each year.
Here is a list of the most common complaints associated with chronic nursing home problems in Illinois.
- bedsores and decubitus ulcers
- malnutrition, dehydration, or choking
- sepsis and chronic infections
- understaffing, including RNs and on-call physicians
- excessive use of feeding tubes
- medication errors or misuse of prescription drugs
- physical or chemical restraints
- wandering and elopement
- unnecessary falls
- verbal abuse, physical assault and sexual abuse
- mistreatment of residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
- discrimination against residents
- threatening to refuse medical treatment
- disregard for resident preferences
- mishandled medical devices
- wrongful eviction and forced transfers
- refusal to accept insurance coverage or bill Medicare
- fraud and financial abuse
Nursing home complaints are most often filed by patients, resident family members and friends, caregivers, staff, or advocacy groups.
Submitting Your Complaint
Complaints often uncover violations. And the process of filing a complaint can help deter staff from making poor choices or future quality of care initiatives of failing. When submitting your complaint, be prepared to answer these questions.
- Who is the patient/resident? Who are the employees involved?
- What happened to the patient/resident? What are the specific allegations (abuse/neglect, acquired infections or medication error)?
- When did this incident occur (date of incident, admission or treatment)?
- Where is the facility located (name and city)? Where in the facility did the incident occur (room number, unit, or department)?
- How was the patient harmed? How could the patient have been potentially harmed?
- How was your complaint addressed by the facility?
Complaints can be filed by phone, and mail or fax using the Healthcare Facilities Complaint Form.
File a Complaint by Phone
Central Complaint Registry Hotline – 800-252-4343
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
TTY for the Hearing Impaired Only- 800-547-0466
File a Complaint by Mail or Fax
Illinois Department of Public Health
Office of Health Care Regulation
Central Complaint Registry
525 W. Jefferson St., Ground Floor
Springfield, IL 62761-0001
Our Illinois nursing home attorneys know that many facilities routinely violate the law and treat residents poorly. Concerned employees are also encouraged to call the nursing home whistleblower hotline at 312-332-2872 or email complaints to email@example.com. All calls and consultations are confidential and employees are protected by the law to make a complaint.
Report Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Located in Chicago, Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence litigation and settled cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois. If you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one, please contact us now for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys. Call (877) 374-1417, or in Chicago at (312) 332-2872.
What can you do if you’re concerned about facilities infection control practices or other issues? Talk to the director of nursing or administrator about your concerns and ask what they will do to address them. Contact your long term care ombudsman program for assistance. The ombudsman program advocates for residents and can help resolve concerns.
File complaints with your state survey agency. Currently the agency is focusing on complaints that are classified as immediate jeopardy. If you believe your concern rises to that level and make sure you indicate that in your complaint. File complaints even if you don’t think it’s immediate jeopardy. The complaint will still be entered into the system and the federal government will be issuing guidance about how these complaints would be handled.
If you have any additional questions, you can still reach our attorneys at Levin and Perconti. We are staying safe and working largely remotely but all of the calls to our main office could be routed to individual attorneys or staff members. If you have questions or you can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, that’s email@example.com.
My name is Mike Bonamarte. I appreciate your time. Please stay safe.