When a family member is harmed in a Maryland nursing home, you might know that you have the right to pursue compensation through a lawsuit. However, a lawsuit is usually the final step you can take to address the issue. Before you get to that point, you should report your suspicions to the Maryland Department of Health, who can look into the matter further. The evidence that the Department finds can be used by your nursing home abuse lawyer later, so it makes even more sense to take this step early in the legal process.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed, abused, or neglected at a nursing home in Maryland, you can file an official complaint with the Maryland Department of Health. Complaints filed this way will be processed by the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) and/or the Maryland Boards of Physicians and Nurses. Each of these groups has resources and experts dedicated to identifying and preventing nursing home abuse.
To file your official complaint, you can do one of three things:
- Visit the OHCQ website and fill out an Online Complaint Report Form. As part of this reporting process, you can upload digital copies of any evidence that you think will help the OHCQ’s investigation. Copies of your elderly loved one’s medical reports can be quite useful, as well as any written testimonies from other residents or concerned parties.
- Print a Paper Complaint Report Form and mail it to the OHCQ if you prefer this format over digital copies. You will want to make paper copies of any of the documents you plan to submit as evidence, so you do not lose your only copy when you send your complaint.
- To file an immediate complaint that you believe should not wait, you can call the OHCQ directly using one of two hotline numbers designated for nursing home complaints in particular. You can call either (410) 402-8108 or (877) 402-8219, and you should be connected with the right operator.
You should also file a separate complaint with the OHCQ about what happened. By forming multiple complaints, you help ensure that your concerns will not be forgotten or overlooked in the system. You also make multiple sources of evidence that your attorney can use when working on your nursing home neglect or abuse claim.
The OHCQ can accept additional complaints about:
- Abuse or neglect by nurses: If you need to file a complaint about what a nurse did, then you can call the Maryland Board of Nurses at 410-585-1900 or visit http://www.mbon.org.
- Abuse or neglect by physicians: If you need to file a complaint about what a doctor or physician did, then you can call the Maryland Board of Physicians at 410-764-4777 or visit https://www.mbp.state.md.us/forms/complain.pdf.
- Elder financial abuse: If you think a nursing home is exploiting or stealing the finances of your elderly loved one, then the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of Attorney General needs to know. Call 410-528-8662 or visit http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov.
Final Step – Call an Attorney
For the final step in your process, don’t forget to get a local nursing home abuse attorney involved in your case as soon as possible. At McGowan & Cecil, LLC, we have more than 120 years of combined experience advocating for the good people of Laurel who have been harmed through the neglect and abuse of others. With us at the helm of your case, you can feel confident that all available evidence is being evaluated and that you and your family get a fair chance at justice after enduring the consequences of nursing home abuse.
To learn if you have a valid nursing home neglect claim in Laurel, Maryland, call (301) 761-2007 or contact us online now.