This is a follow-up to an article published on our Berman & Riedel, LLP blog site on June 19, 2013 titled, “How To Report Suspicions of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in California.”
Anyone who suspects that an elderly resident is not receiving the care which he/she is entitled to receive can file a report with the California Department of Public Health against the offending nursing home. After you have filed the report with DPH, you have many rights as a Complainant, rights which you can exercise in order to ensure that your loved one receives the proper care.
California law requires that DPH keep your identity, as well as the identity of any person named in the complaint, confidential and anonymous from the facility. DPH is required by law to begin an onsite investigation of your complaint within ten working days after receiving the complaint, with the exception that DPH must begin its investigation within 24 hours if there is a threat of imminent danger or serious injury or death.
Within two working days of filing your complaint you must be notified of the name of the investigator assigned to your claim. You have the right to accompany the investigator to the facility during the course of the investigation. DPH must notify you in writing of its findings within 10 working days of the completion of its investigation.
If you are not satisfied with the findings of DPH, you have the right to request an informal conference within five days of receipt of the findings. The conference with the DPH district manager or his/her representative will be scheduled within 30 days or your request and you should be notified within 10 working days of the determinations of DPH. If you are dissatisfied with the results of the informal conference, you have the right to file an appeal with the Deputy Director within 15 days of filing the informal conference. This is the final appeals process with DPH, and though many DPH investigations of nursing home complaints are completed to the satisfaction of the Complainant this is not always the case and you may need to seek other remedies.