If you are a loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect in Colorado, you have options for holding those responsible accountable for their conduct and preventing others from suffering what is a particularly egregious type of wrongdoing. As Denver injury attorneys, we are experienced in advocating for nursing home abuse victims and helping them to maximize their financial recovery. In addition to seeking compensation through a personal injury case, you can report your concerns to Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment.
The CDPHE investigates complaints involving quality of care, resident rights, and building and equipment safety. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms, including failure to provide proper care to seniors, providing incorrect dosages of medication, unnecessarily medicating seniors to make them easier to manage, and actively engaging in intentional abuse. It often occurs as a result of understaffed nursing homes or insufficient background checks and supervision of nursing home staff.
How to File a Complaint With the CDPHE
Anyone with knowledge of abuse or neglect or concerns about a particular nursing home can file an online complaint with the CDPHE. Anonymous complaints are permitted as well. The CDPHE prioritizes complaints based on actual or potential harm to residents and then conducts an investigation, either at the facility or off-site. For on-site investigations, the agency typically interviews a sample of residents, family members, and staff, and then reviews the facility’s records. For off-site investigations, they usually review the facility’s records and interview staff.
Unless you filed the complaint anonymously, the agency will contact you about the outcome of the investigation and will provide a written summary of its findings.
Potential Consequences for the Nursing Home
Depending on the evidence gathered, the CDPHE investigator may or may not be able to verify the complaint’s allegations. The agency stresses that the fact that they are unable to verify allegations does not mean that the reported incident or conduct did not occur. Rather, it just means there was insufficient supporting evidence to verify that it occurred. If they find that the nursing home is not in compliance with state laws or regulations, they will issue deficient practice citations and the facility must correct the violation(s).
Whether or not you have reported the abuse or neglect to the CDPHE, you may also be able to pursue a personal injury case. Any negative findings or citations from CDPHE investigations, conducted as a result of your complaint or the complaints of others, can be used as evidence in your case.