How To File A Complaint Against A Health Care Facility in Indiana

David Besnette

We feel that any family or individual who is receiving services from any healthcare facility, including Assisted Living, Nursing Home Care, or any other Long-Term Care option should know how to file a complaint against the facility should there be abuse, neglect, deficient services or any other issue that puts the safety, well-being, or dignity of a resident or client in jeopardy.

Often times, figuring out how to file a complaint with the state is a murky process.    However, if you are needing to do so in Indiana, you are in luck.  The process is easy and straightforward, if you know where to look.

How To File A Complaint in Indiana

This quick guide will detail how to file a complaint or report concerns about a health care facility, agency, center, or clinic in Indiana using official State channels and forms.  

Step 1

You’ll need to visit the Indiana State Department of Health website – specifically their ‘Reporting A Complaint About A Health Care Facility” page here:  https://www.in.gov/isdh/21533.htm

You will see a comprehensive overview and explanation about the goals of the page, and process for filing a complaint.

The site (at this time) looks like this:

Step 2

Down below, you’ll see a number of options for filing a complaint.  This is great news, as some people are more comfortable with email, some families may wish to call, and others may be ok with mailing in a form.   Kudos to the State of Indiana for providing choices in filing complaints!

Methods of filing a complaint include:

  • Complaint Report Form (this is a downloadable document)
  • Email:   complaints@isdh.in.gov
  • Toll-free Complaint Report Line: 1-800-246-8909 [available during state business hours]
  • Mail to:  Indiana State Department of Health
    Health Care Facility Complaint Program
    2 North Meridian Street, 4B
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

Naturally, it is very important to include as much information as possible.   The State of Indiana suggests that you provide as much information in the following areas:

  • Your Contact Information
  • Location of the Facility (please include the Name and Address)
  • Date of incident, or issue, if possible, or if it is an ongoing matter
  • Time (day shift, night shift etc.)
  • Individuals, Persons or Administrators Involved (i.e. nursing staff, aides, foodservice workers, owners/administrators)

Other suggestions include filing a complaint in a timely manner.  It is difficult to collect accurate information about an incident after a significant period of time.   Memories fade, and documents are destroyed or lost.

May A Complaint Be Anonymous?

According to the site, yes.  This is also very important to us, and great for Indiana to allow.   Some residents, often seniors who live alone or who may feel isolated in a Senior Living facility fear repercussions from staff if it is found out that a complaint was filed.    Being able to complain anonymously may help those who would otherwise continue to experience abuse or neglect.

The downside of this anonymity is that it is harder to verify issues, and the system may be prone to false alarms or unjustified claims.

Seniors fear repercussions

Lastly, what happens after a complaint is filed?

According to the ISDH site:  “Within 7-10 days after you contact the ISDH, you will receive a letter from the ISDH Health Care Facility Complaint Reporting Program verifying that we have received your complaint and we are going to investigate. Complaints are investigated in order of severity”

Find more How To guides on SeniorLiving FAQ

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