On The Front Porch series about Long Term Care

Let's talk: You'd like to know who watches over health care in Delaware?

Who is responsible, and what if I have a complaint?

topics: regulations | Nursing homes | inspections | Assisted Living | Home Health care | Adult Day Care

This is a friend-to-friend discussion in the "On The Front Porch... Let's talk" series about being a caregiver.
Its good to know who to contact just in case you have a problem or question.

There are two divisions in the Delaware state government which license and enforce regulations for health care facilities. The one that you'll need depends on what kind of facility --nursing home, assisted living, adult day care, etc.-- you need help with.

Both divisions use inspectors who make surveys and complaint investigations. There are on-site surveys to verify conditions in a facility. Enforcement actions can be taken if a facility fails to meet compliance regulations. Surveys are not just for health care compliance, but also include fire and safety standards when there is a physical building, like a nursing home or assisted living facility.

The state also assists the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in certification of facilities that participate in federal programs for patient care payment.

Long Term Care: Assisted Living, Rest Homes, and Nursing Homes
The Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection of the Delaware Health and Social Services is the agency which does licensing and watches over conditions in Delaware Assisted Living and Nursing Homes. They have a Incident and Complaint Referral Center, which investigates and follows-up on complaints of resident abuse.

Home Health Agencies, Adult Day Care and Hospice Providers
The Office of Health Facilities Licensing and Certification (HFLC) in the Delaware Division of Public Health is the regulator for acute care and outpatient healthcare agencies.

For Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facilities, call the Complaint & Incident Reporting 24-Hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-453-0012. This is the contact in the Delaware Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection.

For Home Health Agencies, Adult Day Care and Hospice, check the Office of Health Facilities Licensing and Certification website.

Always keep in mind that the best place to start when you have a complaint is with the manager of the facility or agency. There's a good chance your situation will be immediately corrected by talking with the person in charge.

More Info
We have more information about how long term care facilities and agencies are regulated, and about filing complaints, at Let's talk: Who is watching over health care in your state?

Good luck! You are invited to drop me a line and tell me your story about how you solved situations in long term care for your loved one. We may publish selected ones if they would help educate our audience (we will not include names or email addresses). Click to send your email.

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