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Nursing Home Abuse Complaint by Family Results in Felony Charges Against Administrator

According to a report by NBC 10 News, a former administrator of Hillside Health Center in Providence, Rhode Island was charged with 11 counts of felony patient neglect in connection with problems at the now-closed nursing home. According to the report, the administrator was charged with intentionally failing to provide appropriate care and services to 11 patients. The state alleges that the 11 victims' health and safety suffered because of a lack of basic humane care and treatment at the facility while the administrator was in charge. According to the report, the state's Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit started investigating Hillside in September 2003 following a complaint from the spouse of one of the patients named in Thursday's charges. The report can be found at :

While in this case the family complaint resulted in an investigation and ultimately charges being filed, I am confident this is the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately, too often families are unfamiliar with the complaint reporting systems available in each state. For each complaint that is reported each year, it is anyone's guess as to how many other incidents of neglect or abuse go unreported each year. In my own practice representing families of neglected or abused nursing home patients, I find that very few of them are aware of the complaint system in place. Unfortunately, the nursing homes benefit from this gross under-reporting and the resulting under-investigation of nursing home abuse and neglect.

If you have questions about how to make a complaint, you can call the facility's ombudsman for more information. You can also call the attorney general's office or the department of health in your state (it may go by different names) and request the long-term care complaint hotline telephone number. Typically, you can make your complaint by telephone or in writing.

If you have more questions about this process, you can us at 888.922.2889.