How do I file a complaint against a nursing home inNew York?

The New York State Division of Quality and Surveillance for Nursing Homes and Intermedicate Care Facilities (DQS) is responsible for investigating complaints and incidents against nursing homes in New York State. Complaints and incidents may be submitted by fax (518-408-1157) or by mail to: Centralized Complaint Intake Unit, 161 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, New York 12054. You can also call the NYS Department of Health's Nursing Home Complaint Hotline at 1-888-201-4563, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The most serious complaints and incidents require Department investigators to conduct interviews, review medical records, and other facility documentation, and perform other activities on-site at the nursing home. If an investigation determines that any of the allegations did occur, then the allegation is sustained.

The investigation will also determine whether a nursing home has failed to meet federal or state regulations. In cases where the Department of Health determines that the nursing home violated a regulation, the Department will issue a citation to the nursing home. The nursing home must then submit a plan of correction that is acceptable to the Department of Health and correct the deficient practice.

Additionally, the State Office for the Aging (SOFA) employs an ombudsman in each county of New York. An ombudsman is an advocate for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Ombudsman provide information about how to find a nursing home that is right for you or your family member and what to do to get quality care. The ombudsman can also assist you with a complaint against a nursing home. The State Office for the Aging can be reached at 1-800-342-9871.