The Indiana State Health Department and trade groups have been working to improve conditions and have seen some success. By September, the number of CMS immediate jeopardy citations dropped from 46 to 25 and the number of facilities without deficiencies rose from 57 to 66, according to Terry Whitson, state health department assistant commissioner.
The Indiana University School of Public Health is in the early stages of developing a curriculum in long-term care administration, in cooperation with nursing home trade groups, said Scott Tittle, president of the Indiana Health Care Association.
Families encountering problems in Indiana nursing homes can contact the state's long-term care ombudsman at 317-232-7134 or 800-622-4484.
Families encountering problems in Indiana nursing homes have resources inside and outside the facility for help. Here is a sampling, from the United Senior Action Foundation.
Inside the facility:
- Use the facility's grievance procedure.
- Raise concerns at the next care plan conference or request a special conference.
- Discuss the problem with supervisors, department heads or the administrator.
- Take the concern to the family council.
Outside sources of help:
- Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, 317-232-7134 or 800-622-4484.
- Complaint Unit, Division of Long Term Care, Indiana State Department of Health, 800-246-8909.
- Adult Protective Services, 317-232-0135 or 800-992-6978.
- Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, 800-382-1039. Investigates abuse, neglect and theft.
- United Senior Action Foundation Resident Quality and Family Empowerment Project, 800-495-0872.
Rosalyn Demaree is a freelance writer living in Atlanta, Ind.