You have the right to file a complaint about mistreatment of a nursing home resident and to a timely investigation. Any person can file a complaint with the California Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification Division (LCD). LCD enforces nursing home laws and regulations.
You may file a complaint about any concern involving a resident’s care, rights or related matters. It is best to file complaints about serious concerns that the nursing home has not resolved.
Complaints are filed with the district LCD office serving your area. Contact information is available on CANHR’s website or by calling CANHR.
Complaints may be made orally or in writing. If you complain by phone, follow-up with a written complaint to create a paper trail. Give important details, such as the facility name, your contact information, dates and times of incidents, the names of affected residents, and witnesses.
Complainants have certain rights, including the right to remain anonymous, a qualified right to accompany the investigator, and a right to appeal complaint findings.
LCD must begin its investigation within 10 working days of your complaint or within 24 hours if the complaint involves imminent danger. Within two working days of your complaint, LCD must notify you of the assigned investigator. When the investigation is completed, it must send you written findings within 10 working days.
Unfortunately, LCD has been lax in following up on complaints. Contact LCD if it does not investigate or keep you notified in a timely manner. Know your complaint number, and find out the name and direct phone number of the investigator. Keep track of all communications. Contact CANHR for advocacy support.
Your complaint and appeal rights are in the California Health & Safety Code, Sections 1419 and 1420. For questions or concerns about complaints, call CANHR.