How do you file a complaint against a Virginia Nursing Home? By on May 11, 2010

Virginia nursing homes are regulated by the Virginia Department of Health.  If you believe a loved one is not receiving appropriate care you can file a complaint.  You can simply call the Complaint Unit at 1-800-955-1819 or you can visit their website for more information: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/olc/complaint/.

When you contact the Virginia Department of Health make sure you have the exact name of the nursing home and be prepared to share the basis of your concerns.  They will take down your information and assign an investigator.  In most cases the investigator will conduct an unannounced inspection of the nursing home.  The inspector will review the medical records and interview the caregivers.  You should receive a written response to your complaint, although it may take a few months.

If the complaint is founded, the nursing home will be required to prepare a written Plan of Correction (POC) which should include procedures to prevent it from happening again.  The nursing home could be sanctioned with fines and even lose the right to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.  Unfortunately the sanctions do not include compensating the victims for their injuries or losses.  That can only be done through a civil claim also called a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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