How to Report Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse in Pennsylvania
Our law firm specializes in pursuing nursing home negligence cases. In fact, it is all that we do. If you need assistance reporting a Pennsylvania nursing home to the appropriate state authorities, contact our Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys today by calling us at (215) 399-9200, (412) 948-7300 in Western Pennsylvania, or toll-free at (888) 375-9998. You can also submit your case facts below.
Report Elder Abuse
In this article, we detail how and where to report nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania. We provide statewide reporting resources, as well as individual regional reporting agencies, depending on where the incident took place (Eastern, Central, or Western Pennsylvania). We provide both phone numbers and email addresses for Pennsylvania nursing home complaint reporting agencies, and we detail how to report the incident anonymously. Lastly, we explain why it is so important to report elder abuse in Pennsylvania, and how the Department of Health issues its citations for nursing home neglect.
Do not remain silent in the face of potential nursing home abuse. Do something about it today and stop the cycle of systemic nursing home neglect in Pennsylvania’s long term care facilities.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Pennsylvania? Statewide Resources
Pennsylvania Ombudsman Contact Number
The United States requires that each individual state support an Ombudsman Program, whose purpose is to advocate on behalf of residents in long-term care facilities to ensure they receive high-quality care. The Administration on Aging is responsible for administering the program, and it is one of the best places to start your paper trail when reporting elder abuse in Pennsylvania. You can contact the PA Ombudsman Program at the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-490-8505.
Pennsylvania Department of Health Nursing Home Complaint Contact Number
The Pennsylvania Department of Health maintains a number of avenues through which to report elder abuse in addition to the Ombudsman Program. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has a specific nursing home complaint hotline to call if you feel your loved one was abused or neglected. Personal care home or assisted living facility abuse can be reported directly at 877-401-8835, and complaints against nursing homes for neglect should be directed to 1-800-254-5164.
Free Consultation with a Pennsylvania Nursing Home Malpractice Attorney
Even if you have already reported your case of nursing home neglect to the appropriate authorities, it is wise to reach out to an experienced elder abuse lawyer to see if you have a case. Senior Justice Law Firm is happy to provide a free consultation at 888-375-9998 to discuss your situation and see what legal recourse you have. The firm can help you report the nursing home neglect to the appropriate Pennsylvania agencies, assist you in seeking monetary compensation for your damages, and most importantly of all, make sure the nursing home provides better care for residents in the future.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Philadelphia?
Pennsylvania is home to a large number of older people—in fact, the state ranks #4 in the nation in the percentage of people 65 and older, and again for those 85 and older. If trends continue on their current path, Pennsylvania is slated to see its population shift into older age, with upwards of 30% of the state’s residents being over the age of 60 by 2030.
In Philadelphia in particular, the elderly population continues to grow as the bustling city expands. Unfortunately, nursing homes in the Philadelphia city area trend low in the ratings, with the average rating coming in at just that—average. Historically, the Philadelphia metro region nursing homes have performed worse than the rest of Pennsylvania. For some types of care, such as for Alzheimer’s patients, facilities tend to rank lower, in the below average bracket. For the 273 nursing homes and elder care facilities in the Philly metro area, this is not a good sign for residents.
Thankfully, 36 homes received a top rating. However, even these highly praised facilities are not immune to abuse and neglect of their patients, as worker shortages and the high quality of care demanded by long-term patients influence even these locations. The differentiator for the higher-rating long-term care facilities—such as Ann’s Choice and Christ’s Home—seems to be that they are owned by nonprofits instead of for-profit companies, and that they maintain a small community of often less than 100 beds. Unfortunately, the larger, corporate run care homes in Philadelphia rate poorly on resident care.
Regardless of whether your loved one is staying at a highly rated nonprofit nursing home or a larger for-profit elder care facility, it is wise to remain alert to the potential of elder abuse and neglect. If you suspect that your loved one is not being treated appropriately, you can reach out to Philadelphia’s local Ombudsman program or its offshoot, called CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly).
CARIE’s Ombudsman Program is available to help with elder abuse concerns in Center City, South Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia via phone at 215-545-5724 or 1-800-356-3606. If you would prefer online contact, you can get in touch with the program via their online form here.
For the Philadelphia Ombudsman program, South, West or North Philadelphia you can contact 215-545-5728 or use the toll-free number at 1-800-356-3606. The fax number for the Ombudsman program is 215-545-5372, and mail can be sent to 100 S. Broad Street, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19110. Those in Northeast or Northwest Philadelphia should contact Center in the Park at 215-844-1829 or via fax at 215-848-4015.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Pittsburgh?
Pennsylvania contains just about 700 nursing homes state-wide, accounting for more than 88,000 beds. The state is a popular place for long-term facility care, as nursing homes are about 91% occupied on average. This constitutes a large number of people and provides many opportunities for residents to slip through the cracks and become subject to neglectful care. More elder care facilities than you might believe are receiving the lowest possible scores in critical areas like nutrition and staff to patient ratio. You can report nursing home neglect in Pittsburgh or elsewhere by using the PA online complaint form here.
Pittsburgh alone accounts for 123 of the state’s nursing homes in its metropolitan area, and unfortunately, only 18 of these facilities received a positive rating; these were in Squirrel Hill North, Regent Square, Squirrel Hill South, Lower Lawrenceville, and East Liberty. Only 33 of the city’s 100+ elder care facilities have less than 100 beds, so the majority of the care provided in the metro area is at larger facilities that tend to suffer more significantly in areas of understaffing and individualized attention.
Those who suspect that their loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home in Pittsburgh may reach out to any of the national resources, but the Allegheny County Department of Health and Human Services also operates an Older Adult Protective Services division that can be reached at 412-350-6905 or 1-800-344-4319. You can also reach out to the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to contact SeniorLine at 412-350-5460. Their online brochure, which contains more details information that can help you in making a report about elder abuse, can be found here. The Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging can assist you in reporting elder abuse throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Let our Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys assist you in exposing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect.
How Do I Report Elder Abuse in Harrisburg, PA?
Harrisburg is one of the most populous cities in Pennsylvania, and as such, it boasts a high number of elderly residents who are in need of assisted living options. Despite this, options in the Harrisburg metropolitan area—which encompasses Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Perry counties—contains relatively few elder care facilities at only 44. These nursing homes combined contain fewer than 5,000 beds, which might at first indicate that Harrisburg homes may rank well in terms of individualized patient attention. Unfortunately, only two nursing homes received a positive rating, and the average rating of nursing homes in Harrisburg is below average, with many ranking at the lowest rating possible.
The majority of Harrisburg nursing homes have paid at least some fines due to their lack of care, with an average range between $7,000 and $10,000. However, a few homes have been cited repeatedly for major deficiencies, paying nearly $300,000 in fines after 42, 76, and 92 deficiencies were found in the treatment of their patients.
In addition to getting in touch with the Department of Health via the online complaint form, you can report elder abuse in Harrisburg via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send mail to the Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Nursing Care Facilities at 625 Forster St., Room 526, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701. If you have access to fax, you can reach them at 717-772-2163.
Because the Harrisburg area is so large and encompasses a number of counties, it can be difficult to determine which organization you should contact. The Pennsylvania Department on Aging maintains an interactive agency locator that you can access here. Dauphin County residents can report nursing home abuse at with the Dauphin County AAA by sending a note to the Administration Building, 3rd Floor, Two S. 2nd Street, P.O. Box 1295, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2025 or by phone at (717) 780-6130 or (800) 328-0058 extension 6130.
Perry County also has an AAA (Area Agency on Aging) at Rhinesmith Building, Center Square, P.O. Box 725 in New Bloomfield, PA 17068. They can be reached at (717) 582-5128 for any cases involving suspected or proven elder abuse or nursing home neglect.
For Cumberland County residents, the Cumberland County Office of Aging and Community Services is available to assist with nursing home abuse and neglect at the Human Services Building, 16 West High Street, Carlisle, PA 17013-2922. They can also be reached at (717) 240-6110 or toll-free at (800) 697-0371.
Let our Harrisburg Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys assist you in exposing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect.
Why Should I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Pennsylvania?
If you live in Pennsylvania and are considering moving yourself or someone you love into a nursing home, you might assume that doing so will enable access to more comprehensive care and consistent assistance. However, it is not uncommon for people who live in elder care facilities to find themselves abused—intentionally or not. While most nurses would not subject anyone to poor care or neglect, they are often overworked and understaffed in nursing homes, and the residents pay the consequences. Sadly, it is typically the most vulnerable, non-verbal residents that get the worst care.
If you believe that your family member or loved one is being abused in a nursing home or long-term care facility in Pennsylvania, you may be at a loss for what to do. You may have already brought up the resident’s care to the facility’s staff, who may or may not have begun to make changes based upon your observations. Thankfully, the state of Pennsylvania maintains a number of resources for reporting nursing home abuse and elder neglect.
It is incumbent on you, as the patient’s representative, to report the elder neglect to the appropriate Pennsylvania Department of Health agency. Doing so will ensure that the nursing home is held accountable for the harm they have caused. Hopefully, the facility learns from its mistakes and does not let it happen again.
You can report nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania anonymously, so there should be no barrier to you doing so. Whatever your motivation, if you suspect neglect, do something about it. Otherwise, you are dooming the next resident to suffer the same abuse.
What Reporting Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Does
Money fines act as a deterrent to bad nursing home behavior.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Health oversees all facilities that care for the aging population, and these locations must agree to regular, unannounced inspections to ensure that they are providing proper care for their residents. Your reporting of an abusive or negligent event will likely trigger an unannounced inspection. This can result in the issuance of deficiency citations and monetary fines.
Pennsylvania tends to be strict on punishments, with fines averaging approximately $14,000. The state doubled its fines in 2018. The idea behind fining the facility is, unfortunately, this is the only way the State of Pennsylvania can get the nursing home to change.
Additionally, you can speak with one of our attorneys who can investigate a potential civil suit. Most of our Pennsylvania nursing home negligence cases settle in excess of $100,000. In addition to reporting the nursing home, this is an impactful way of changing the culture at the facility.
Hitting the Negligent Nursing Home Where it Matters Most:
Its Bank Account
Why take 5 minutes to report a nursing home in Pennsylvania when it will not undue the harm done? Why bother with pursuing legal action when money damages cannot fix the suffering that a family member went through?
Most facilities that offer long-term care to elderly residents are run by for-profit organizations, and hitting them where it matters most to them—their finances—is the best way to ensure that lasting change is made.
Most Pennsylvania nursing homes are part of a larger corporate chain. Like other businesses, these facility corporations are hyper-focused on their bottom line. If the facility has to pay the government $15,000, or your family $150,000, it gets the attention of the higher ups. When their profits are reduced due to paying damages in a claim, they are more likely to revise their policies to prevent the issue from happening again, and this could save many residents from similar neglect.
Free PA Nursing Home Neglect Case Consultation
It is disheartening that the best way to effect change in nursing homes is to obtain monetary damages. However, it is a sad reality that our long term care system is driven by profit. That is why Senior Justice Law Firm focuses on nursing home abuse cases in Pennsylvania.
We understand these cases—because they are the only cases we do. If you want your voice heard, contact our attorneys today at 888-375-9998 to discuss your options in a no-obligation, free consultation. We can develop a strategy to obtain justice for your family member. If the event is too traumatic to discuss over the phone, that is not a problem. Submit your case facts below and we will be in contact shortly.