State survey agencies (usually the state department of health) have primary responsibility to ensure the safety and dignity of nursing home residents 24 hours a day, every day of the year. However, too often, the state agencies fail to effectively monitor facilities or respond to complaints about care. If your state is not sufficiently responsive to a complaint about resident care, including services to ensure a good quality of life and treatment with dignity, you can file a complaint directly with the regional office of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services via one of the below email addresses.
ROATLHSQ@cms.hhs.gov: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
ROPHIDSC@cms.hhs.gov: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
ROSFOSO@cms.hhs.gov: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories
We strongly recommend that individuals document, as precisely as possible, the nature of their concern; the extent to which (if any) it caused clinical, physical, or psych-social harm; and to whom and when any previous complaints were made. Visit the Learning Center for useful forms, fact sheets on care standards, and other resources. For more information on state/federal oversight, see: CMS, “State Obligations to Survey to the Entirety of Medicare and Medicaid Health and Safety Requirements under the 1864 Agreement,” QSO-22-12-ALL (Feb. 9, 2022), https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-22-12-all.pdf.