On The Front Porch series about Long Term Care

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

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

topics: regulations | Nursing homes | inspections | Assisted Living | Home Health care | Adult Day Care | Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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 Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is responsible for the licensing and regulating of Maryland's long-term care facilities. There are seperate units within the Department of Health for regulating Nursing homes and Assisted Living programs

Nursing Homes
The Long-Term Care Unit in the Department of Health is the agency responsible for regulating nursing homes.

They conduct unannounced on-site surveys, follow-up visits, and complaint investigations. The state’s Office of the Fire Marshal (SOFM), and the local life safety authority also perform inspections.

The unit investigates complaints of resident abuse and assists with criminal and civil prosecution of staff members who abuse vulnerable adults.

Assisted Living
The Assisted Living Unit of the Department of Health is the watchdog over Maryland's Assisted Living facilities. There were over 1300 licensed Assisted Living programs in the state as of 2013. The Assisted Living unit has the duty to ensure compliance with standards, and assure the safety and well-being of the individuals residing in the programs.

If you have a complaint
Professional recommend 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 file a complaint online with the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality.

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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