As our loved ones age, they may require additional care that we cannot provide on our own. Nursing homes are often the solution to ensuring that our elderly family members receive the care and attention they need. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide the level of care that they should, and in some cases, nursing home abuse can occur. The thought of our loved ones being abused or neglected can be heart-wrenching and overwhelming situation, but it’s essential to take immediate action to protect them. This blog will discuss how to report nursing home abuse, the signs of abuse to look out for, and what steps you can take to protect your loved ones.
There are two main options for reporting a nursing home in Florida. The reason you are reporting the nursing home to authorities will determine which option you choose.
You can still report the nursing home yourself, but The Black Law Company can help you file the report and talk about your legal options to recover financial compensation. To get started, contact a lawyer for nursing home abuse.
Reporting a Nursing Home for Medicaid Fraud
You must contact the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to report a nursing facility for Medicaid fraud. Also, you can submit a report online, or call Florida AHCA at 1-888-419-3456.
You will need to include as much information as you can when you submit your report:
- Name of the nursing home
- The Medicaid ID number of the nursing home
- Date(s) when you or your loved ones received care in a nursing home
- An estimate of the amount involved is fine
- A description of the reasons you are concerned about Medicaid fraud
There is a high chance that a nursing home has been involved in Medicaid fraud. Nursing homes often bill their residents more than Medicare.
Residents and their loved ones should review all invoices and accounts statements carefully if they have any concerns about billing fraud. If they have concerns, they should speak with an attorney
Report a Nursing Home for Neglect and Abuse
You should immediately report to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) if you have concerns regarding abuse or neglect in a nursing home. The Florida Health Care Complaint Portal allows you to file an online complaint. Florida DOH will not accept complaints regarding nursing home neglect or abuse made over the telephone. The confidentiality of patient identities as well as patient records is guaranteed by the Florida DOH.
The Florida DOH can take time to investigate allegations about nursing home abuse or neglect. Residents are often too busy to wait in many cases.
We strongly encourage residents and their families to consult with lawyers immediately after submitting a complaint through the Florida Health Care Complaint Portal. Our attorneys are available to assist you and your loved ones if they require medical attention or need to be removed from an unsafe nursing facility. If necessary, we can immediately take action.
Protect Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents
Health emergencies require immediate attention. Your priority should always be to rescue your loved one from danger due to nursing home abuse or neglect. Sometimes, you may need to call 911 for emergency help. It is safer to be safe than sorry when it comes to your loved one’s safety and health. Follow-up on suspicions of neglect or abuse.
Document Abuse and Neglect
After the situation stabilizes, your family and you should begin to document any abuse/neglect. You should record the details, take photos of any injuries, and contact information for witnesses. If you have documented evidence of abuse, it will be easier to convince the authorities to act and hold the negligent nursing facility accountable.
File a Complaint to Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
Long-term care centers and assisted living facilities are generally regulated at the state level. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration should be notified if you suspect abuse or neglect. You can make a complaint by phone at 1-888-419-3456, or online via the official Licensed Health Care Facility Complaint Form. The state regulators may help you to open an investigation.
What Is the Best Time to Report a Nursing Home?
Many people don’t know when it is appropriate to report to a nursing facility. Nursing home caregivers and administrators will often try to conceal evidence of neglect or fraud. Residents and their loved ones are often quick to give nursing homes the benefit of the doubt.
You should seek professional help if you have concerns. You have a high chance of validating your concerns. It is highly unlikely that ongoing problems will resolve themselves. Many Florida nursing homes are full of abuse, neglect, and fraud, and many residents end up in pain when they or their loved ones should speak out and seek help.
These are just a few examples of issues that warrant reporting to a nursing facility and consulting an attorney to discuss your or your loved one’s legal rights.
- Unexplained injuries to the body
- Unexplained weight gain/weight loss
- Any unwanted physical contact
- Verbal and psychological abuse
- Unauthorized charges or excessive bills
- Missing cash, checks, credit cards, or personal property
- Neglect evidence such as bedsores
- Elopement or periods of isolation
- Inability to communicate effectively with family and friends
- Inadequate access or inability to administer medication
- Access to the toilet or basic hygiene care is not sufficient
Talk to a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
While Florida has several state agencies that handle reports about nursing homes, government investigators may not be able to protect your rights or interests. An experienced lawyer is crucial for protecting your loved ones and identifying the options to hold the nursing home responsible.
The Black Law Company is one of the few law firms that have more experience in nursing home negligence cases. Our nursing home abuse lawyers have both the resources and knowledge to thoroughly investigate your case and the determination to get the maximum compensation for you and your loved ones.
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