How Do You File A Nursing Home Abuse Complaint In South Carolina?

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If you suspect nursing home abuse, or if you have concerns about a loved one’s care, you need to know how to file a complaint. In South Carolina, there are multiple agencies that may investigate and help. There are also multiple ways to make a complaint.

To file a nursing home abuse complaint in South Carolina:

  1. Call the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) at (803) 545-4370. Tell them that you want to file a complaint.
  2. Call the South Carolina Department on Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman Program at (800) 868-9095.

You may also file a complaint by mail, fax, or email.

Where do I make a complaint about nursing home abuse in South Carolina?

Two primary agencies accept complaints about nursing home abuse in South Carolina – the South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The two organizations serve different purposes, and it may be appropriate to report to both agencies.

South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

The South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a part of the Department on Aging. The organization investigates concerns about patient care in long-term care facilities. With more than 2,000 care facilities in the state, and the capacity for more than 43,000 residents in care, the organization fields about 8,000 complaints annually. Representatives serve as advocates for residents and their families.

To report to the South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, you may:

Call (800) 868-9095 to make a report by phone.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) oversees licensing for long-term care facilities in the state. When nursing home abuse occurs, it may be the result of failures on the part of the home to follow requirements.

To make a report to DHEC, you may:

  1. Call (803) 545-4370. Tell them that you want to file a complaint.
  2. Use the Online Complaint Form.
  3. Mail your complaint to: DHEC, Bureau of Health Facilities Licensing, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, SC, 29201.
  4. Fax your complaint to: (803) 545-4212.

Should I report to the Ombudsman program, DHEC, or both?

The primary purpose of the Ombudsman program is to investigate and help the individual directly when there are concerns about patient care. On the other hand, DHEC’s primary purpose is ensuring that licensing standards are met by care facilities. Consider the purposes of the organizations to determine where it’s best to file. If you’re unsure which agency may be most appropriate to respond to your concerns, or if the concerns involve both individual well-being and greater concerns for the facility and all residents, you are free to make a report to both agencies.

Can you remain anonymous when you report suspected nursing home abuse?

Investigative agencies accept anonymous reports of suspected nursing home abuse. You can make a report anonymously.

If you choose to remain anonymous, remember that the agency needs enough information to investigate the complaint. Be sure you give details so that the agency can follow up on your concerns. In addition, anonymous reporters do not receive updates, so you may not know what comes from your complaint.

What should I expect when I report nursing home abuse?

When investigators receive a report of nursing home abuse, they prioritize the urgency of the report. They may follow up quickly if there are immediate threats, but they have up to 45 days to respond. You may allow investigators to look at records as part of their investigation. They may conduct unannounced visits at the care facility. The resident involved will be given a safe space to speak without intimidation.

The Ombudsman serves as an advocate for the resident to enforce their rights and assist with the grievance process. The home may be ordered to create a written remedy, and they may pay a penalty if they do not implement the remedy.

How can an attorney help with nursing home abuse?

An attorney can help you report nursing home abuse, investigate and pursue your loved one’s legal rights. If you suspect nursing home abuse, making a complaint may protect your loved one and others. In addition, your loved one may have a right to claim financial compensation through a nursing home abuse claim. They may receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish.

We are caring and compassionate attorneys. We help individuals who are hurt by the actions of others. Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys today to talk about your case.

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