The Arizona Department of Health Services has an online system for filing complaints against state-licensed nursing homes. The system will also work for complaints against child-care facilities and hospitals.
The online form, available around the clock, asks basic questions about who, what, when and where, and also reminds people to include information about potential witnesses and police involvement. The questionnaire is then sent directly to the appropriate licensing office for prioritizing.
The investigator will need contact information for the person filing the complaint in case more information is needed and to provide updated information to the filer when the investigation is complete. But officials stress that the system is secure and that confidentiality will be maintained.
The complaint form is available through the department's main website at www.azdhs.gov
Complaints may also be filed by telephone, at 1-602-364-2536.
Other nursing home resources
• Nursing homes should make their latest state-inspection survey readily available to visitors. Citations may be checked at www.azdhs.gov/als/ltc/index.htm
It was once possible to look at the public file on any home at the state's long-term-care licensing office in Tucson, but in 2008 officials moved the files to Phoenix, where they may be viewed at 150 N. 18th Ave., fourth floor.
• The Arizona Health Services Department's office of long-term care has information about nursing homes, regulations, residents' rights and enforcement. See www.azcarecheck.com or www.azdhs.gov/als/ltc/ index.htm or call 1-602-364-2690.
• To file a complaint against a nursing home, call the state at 1-602-364-2536.
• Complaints about abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults may also be filed with Arizona Adult Protective Services at 1-877-767-2385 or by filing an online report at www.azdes.gov/reportadultabuse
• The Pima Council on Aging has resources at www.pcoa.org/programs and long-term care ombudsman Margaret Higgins takes complaints and will help people file complaints. Reach her at 546-2007 or 904-2903.
• Find government ratings for nursing homes that accept Medicare/Medicaid at www.medicare.gov