Nursing home facilities within the State of Texas that receive notification that a complaint has been filed against them with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are up against a wall. The Department takes complaints very seriously. It tends to approach complaints as though they were true from the outset. This places the burden on the nursing home facility to prove that it is innocent of any wrongdoing.
The facilities that are often colloquially referred to as “nursing home facilities” in Texas are regulated under the standards of the Long-term Care Providers subsection of HHS—which includes under its rubric assisted living facilities, day activity, and health services, intermediate facilities, and nursing facilities. One key element in the licensing of these facilities is whether a facility’s residents would be able to evacuate the facility in the case of an emergency and whether there is a necessity for the facility to support attendance at night. When these facilities are under investigation due to complaints, they are evaluated for alleged violations of state and federal nursing home standards. Moreover, allegations of misconduct in any of these facilities are also rigorously investigated.
HHS’s first step when it receives a complaint against a regulated health facility is to evaluate the allegations so as to determine whether a regulatory violation may have occurred. At this point, it also decides whether the complaint might be more properly referred to as another regulatory body. If a determination is made that a potential violation may have occurred and that it possesses the requisite jurisdiction over that violation, HHS will initiate an investigation. Mail-based and on-site investigations are then initiated, with the goal of determining whether any regulatory violations have actually taken place. If discipline appears necessary, the Department will recommend the type of discipline it believes to be proper, as well as notifying the facility of its findings. Then enforcement action will be taken.
An experienced professional license defense attorney is of great benefit throughout this process. Do not hesitate to contact us. The more time we have to craft a response to the very first communication you receive—on which there are almost always deadlines to meet—the better we will be able to craft your strategic defense and set the scope of the investigation in your favor. BERTOLINO LLP will go the distance, from the very first stage of the process (where we can be effective at forestalling disciplinary proceedings) to the end of any disciplinary proceedings that may occur as a result.
To best serve our clients, we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.