The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) was established to administer long-term services and support for people who are aging and people with intellectual and physical disabilities. DADS protect senior Texans and other residents of long-term care facilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Long-term care facilities (LTCs) include nursing homes, assisted living facilities (also called personal care homes), and intermediate care facilities for the mentally challenged.
DADS is responsible for the regulation and licensure of long-term service providers and administers the state's Guardianship program. The department falls under the purview of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and operates under the leadership of a commissioner who is appointed by the executive commissioner of HHSC.
Investigating Violations of Nursing Home Standards
As the regulatory body of nursing homes, DADS is the state agency tasked with licensing and inspecting nursing homes. The department has the authority to investigate alleged violations of state and federal nursing home standards. DADS has the authority to investigate allegations of misconduct occurring in Texas nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, and in homes using a home health agency.
The Office of the Attorney General works with DADS to protect people in the care of a long-term service provider. DADS investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or other violations of nursing home standards. If the investigation yields concerns about a licensed nursing home or other long-term care facility, then DADS may refer the investigation to the Office of the Attorney General to address the violations.
What Conduct Constitutes Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation?
According to the Texas Office of the Attorney General abuse "includes involuntary seclusion, intimidation, humiliation, harassment, threats of punishment, deprivation, hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, any type of corporal punishment, sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, or any oral, written, or gestured language that includes disparaging or derogatory terms, regardless of the person's ability to hear or comprehend."
Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to provide the goods or serves that are necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain.
Exploitation includes any activity whereby a caretaker or other person entrusted with the affairs of a senior or disabled person inappropriately uses the resources of the senior or disabled person for monetary gain or personal benefit. No family member, friend, or agent of a nursing home is permitted to take control of a senior's money without that person's permission or otherwise obtaining permission from a court of law.
Facing An Investigation by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you or your nursing home for alleged violations of state or federal nursing home standards, it is critical that you seek the advice of an experienced medical license defense attorney immediately.
Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. The attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your long-term care facility's license.
Our law firm helps professionals and facilities keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.