Nursing homes receive a great deal of scrutiny from regulators and the public at large. A single complaint can trigger an investigation, and it can feel like they have already decided against you, even if the complaint ultimately lacks merit. The consequences can disrupt your ability to care for your resident and subject you to onerous oversight and control, ultimately costing you a significant amount of money and causing severe damage to your reputation. If you have received a complaint or are worried about potential compliance issues, a Maryland nursing home administrator license defense attorney can provide you with the guidance you need.
Nursing Home Administrators Are Subject to Considerable Regulatory Oversight
Nursing homes are regulated by the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators, a division of the Maryland Board of Health. The Board’s mission is to protect the public, specifically those who reside in nursing homes, through the investigation of complaints and enforcement of the relevant laws and regulations. The Board is composed of 13 members, only six of whom are licensed nursing home administrators.
The Board has considerable authority in investigating and resolving complaints. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Board may initiate an investigation. You may be subpoenaed to produce records and otherwise be compelled to cooperate. If the Board determines that a violation has occurred, it could take the following action against you:
- Issue a public reprimand
- Issue a cease and desist order
- Impose monetary fines
- Put you on probation
- Suspend your license
The severity of the penalties you face will depend on a variety of factors, such as the nature of the violation and whether you have prior violations. That said, do not assume that cooperation will guarantee a more favorable outcome. You should also be aware that the Board’s findings may also expose you to civil and criminal liability. As a result, you should engage a Maryland nursing home administrator license defense attorney as early in the process as possible to ensure a fair outcome.
Common Issues that Can Lead to Enforcement Action
It is important to emphasize that the complaint may contain a bare allegation with no proof. Many of the complaints that are filed are based on hearsay or are, at most, customer service complaints that should have been directed to the facility itself. Unfortunately, these complaints are taken very seriously and can quickly lead to an investigation. Most of the complaints that trigger an investigation include allegations of the following:
- Allegations of abuse or neglect
- Failure to maintain a safe and/or sanitary facility
- Inadequate supervision
- Inadequate staffing, such as an insufficient number of licensed medical personnel
- Inadequately trained staff
- Inadequate emergency protocols, equipment, or other measures
- Building and health code violations
- Substandard medical care
Regardless of whether you believe the complaint lacks merit, you need to take immediate action to protect your license. The best thing you can do is contact a Maryland nursing home administrator license defense attorney as soon as you receive notice of the complaint.
How a Maryland Nursing Home Administrator License Defense Attorney Can Help
We work with nursing home administrators at all stages of the enforcement process. We also help nursing home administrators manage their compliance, providing real-time guidance on whatever difficult legal issues you may face. If you have received a complaint, however, the sooner you get legal help the better your chances of getting a fair outcome. A Maryland nursing home administrator license defense attorney can assist you in the following ways:
- Evaluate the seriousness of the complaint and identify the potential consequences
- Develop a personalized legal strategy for resolving the complaint
- Draft an appropriate response to the complaint
- Assist in responding to and cooperating with any investigation
- Provide guidance regarding your options at every step in the process, including evaluation of potential settlement options for resolving the complaint
- Handle all correspondence and communications between you and the Board throughout the process
- Represent you at any hearings before the Board
- If necessary, advise you as to your appeal rights and handle those appeals
- Assist you in complying with any orders imposed by the Board
The disciplinary process is complex, and the Board aggressively pursues complaints. To protect your license, your best option is to engage a Maryland nursing home administrator license defense attorney as early in the process as possible.
Contact a Maryland Nursing Home Administrator License Defense Attorney at Law Offices of J.W. Stafford Firm Today