How are nursing homes regulated?
Nursing homes are regulated at the state and federal level. At least from the state level, most of the regulation has to do with bare minimum requirements in terms of staffing. It's the federal level that is the most important in terms of requirements. There is something called OBRA, which is a federal level law. Any nursing facility that has residents who are paying with Medicare or Medicaid money are required to follow these regulations in running a nursing home. That's where we look to for the standards that we expect a nursing home to adhere to in caring for their residents. If a nursing home doesn't adhere to those requirements, then they can be fined and even shut down. That occurs through the state. The state has an agency in Delaware is Delaware Health and Social Services. Every year, they do out to each nursing home and they pull records from residents and they decide whether the nursing home is in compliance. This can also occur as a result of an individual complaint from a family regarding resident care.
What to do if your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect
If you are concerned that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence, there are two things I recommend you do. The first is that you contact the state agency in your county for them to do an investigation. For New Castle County, they can be reached at (302) 421-7400 and for Kent and Sussex Counties, they can be reached at (302) 424-8600. The second thing I recommend you do is that you call or contact our firm so we can review your claim. You have a two-year statute of limitations with nursing home neglect in Delaware and there are a number of different prerequisites that we have to meet before we can even pursue that claim. So with these types of claims, time is of the essence.