On The Front Porch series about Long Term Care

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

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

topics: regulations | Nursing homes | inspections | Assisted Living | Home Health care | Adult Day Care | Illinois Department of Public Health

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.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Long Term Care is responsible for the licensing and regulating of Indiana's long-term care facilities.

Nursing Homes
Nursing homes (referred to in the administrative rules as a comprehensive care facility) are included in the long terrm care facilities that are regulated by the ISDH. State inspectors perform follow-up 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.

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

Residential Care Facilities
The Residential Care Facility Licensing Program conducts health surveys and investigates complaints in order to assess the compliance of about 100 residential care providers with the rules and regulations.

Home Health Agencies
The Department of Health is responsible for the licensing and regulating of Home Health Care agencies that provide nursing services; physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social workers and home health aides. The department inspects agencies licensed by the state for compliance with state and federal regulations. The Department of Health also monitors agencies, on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for quality of care and to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

The Department also licenses Personal Services Agencies that provide attendant care services; homemaker services; and companion services.

There is an Indiana State Department of Health web page about: Personal Care Services Agency Licensing. Here is the Department's page about Home Health Agency (HHA) Licensing

If you have a complaint
>The Division of Long Term Care recommends that you always begin by contacting the management of the health care agency or facility with your concerns. If, after you have done this you feel more action is required, you can call their toll-free complaint number: 1-800-246-8909.

The Division of Long Term Care has a web page which offers advice about documenting your complaint, available at How to Report a Complaint Concerning a Health Care Facility

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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