How Do I Report Nursing Home Neglect in Ohio?
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities exist to help and protect those who cannot fully care for themselves. When trust is broken and an incident occurs in a facility that is supposed to be protecting its patients, it can be both heartbreaking and illegal.
Nursing home neglect and abuse happen more than most people think. Have you or a loved one been a victim? It’s important to know your rights and know how to report an incident if it happens.
Four Ways to Report Nursing Home Neglect in Ohio:
- Call the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Complaint Hotline at 1-800-342-0553
- Email a complaint to the Ohio Department of Health
- Fill out the Ohio Department of Health Complaint Form (HEA 1685) online
- Hire a Lawyer
1. Call the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Complaint Hotline
The ODH complaint hotline is available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and is covered by a real-time intake staff. The hotline voicemail is covered 24 hours per day, seven days a week and is checked twice per day for voicemail intakes.
Types of complaints handled by ODH include those involving:
- Ambulatory Surgical Centers
- Clinical Laboratory
- Comprehensive Outpatient Rehab Facility
- End Stage Renal Dialysis
- Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disability
- Home Health Agency
- Residential Care Facility
- Skilled Nursing Facility
2. Email a Complaint to the Ohio Department of Health
Another way to report nursing home neglect or abuse is through the ODH complaint email address.
Included in the complaint should be the following:
- Complaint information (full name, address, telephone number)
- Facility name, address, telephone number
- Individuals involved and affected including witnesses and accusers (name(s), room number, title, etc.)
- Specifics of the complaint
- Date, time, and frequency of the incident
- Opinion if the incident is an isolated event or systemic problem
- Opinion on why the incident occurred
- Opinion if the facility has tried to address the situation
- Description of other courses of action taken (contacting other agencies, contacting the facility, etc.)
An additional way to file a nursing home neglect or abuse complaint is by downloading the Ohio Department of Health Complaint Form.
After filling out the form, the complaint will be investigated according to the provider type and nature of the complaint. The ODH has two regional offices in Ohio that will begin and maintain the investigation. Complainants will receive a letter of acknowledgment from ODH explaining that the complaint has been processed and an additional letter giving notice of the outcome once the investigation has been completed.
4. Hire a Lawyer
No two cases of nursing home neglect and abuse are the same. An experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer is essential to ensure everything is being done to report the incident and fight for justice for affected parties.
A lawyer will assess the situation and compare the incident with the laws of your state. In Ohio, the Ohio Nursing Home Patient Bill of Rights (Ohio law: ORC §3721.13) was created to protect the rights and privileges of all patients in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. This bill consists of things rights such as:
- The right to have a safe and clean living environment
- Be free from physical, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse, as well as the right to be treated at all times with courtesy, respect, and full recognition of dignity and individuality;
- Voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services
You can find a complete list of rights by visiting the Ohio Revised Code website.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, do NOT wait to report the incident.