How to File a Nursing Home Complaint in New Mexico
Residents can suffer serious physical injuries, traumatizing emotional distress, and devastating financial hardships when they’re abused by a nursing home. It’s important to understand how to file a nursing home complaint in New Mexico. Once a complaint is filed, it can prompt changes in the facility and be used as evidence in a related nursing home abuse lawsuit.
If you suspect that a loved one is being abused at a nursing home in New Mexico, it’s important to take prompt action. Your family member may have already suffered irreparable trauma, and their overall health and well-being could still be at risk. By reporting the abuse, you help to protect them and other residents from additional suffering.
Fortunately, reporting nursing home abuse in New Mexico is straightforward. Here’s everything you need to know about how to file a nursing home complaint in New Mexico, what evidence can support your allegations, and why it’s important to talk to an attorney.
Where do I report nursing home abuse in New Mexico?
Nursing home complaints are handled by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Division of Health Improvement.
File a Complaint by Phone
To file a complaint of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in a community-based Medicaid waiver program, call (800) 445-6242.
To file a complaint of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in a licensed health facility, call (800) 752-8649.
File a Complaint by Mail or Fax
You also have the option of completing the Health Facility Consumer Complaint Form and submitting it to the Department of Health via fax or mail.
Complaints should be faxed to (888) 576-0012 or mailed to the following address:
DHI Complaints Unit
P.O. Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Submit a Complaint Online
Nursing facilities also have a duty to self-report known acts of abuse or neglect. If you work for a nursing facility and need to file a complaint concerning abuse, neglect, or exploitation, you can do so online.
Visit the Health Facility Reporting System to tell the Department of Health about your concerns.
What should I include in my nursing home complaint?
Whether you call the New Mexico Department of Health or submit a complaint by fax or mail, it will be important to provide context, details, and supporting evidence for your claims.
- The name of the nursing home
- The nursing facility’s address and phone number
- The abused resident’s name, birthdate, age, and sex
- The resident’s floor and room number
- The date the resident was admitted to the nursing home
- Where and when the abuse occurred
- Whether this is the first time this has happened
- Names of individuals suspected of abusing the resident
- Whether the resident is available to discuss the allegations
- Any actions taken by the nursing home to address your concerns
- Whether you reported the abuse to local law enforcement in New Mexico
You’ll also need to specify the type of abuse you suspect, which might include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
It will be important to provide specific details about the incident or incidents prompting your complaint. Write down the version of events as you know it.
You can — and should — supplement your complaint by providing the Department of Health with evidence or documentation.
For instance, if you suspect a resident is being neglected, you may want to mention sudden changes in health, unexplained weight loss, unexplained falls and injuries, bed sores, and medical records.
What happens after I report nursing home abuse in New Mexico?
Once a complaint of nursing home abuse is received, the Department of Health will conduct an incident investigation.
Under New Mexico state law, Department of Health investigators must be granted immediate access to:
- All nursing home records, including medical records, financial records, personnel records, incident reports, and internal policies and procedures
- Individuals with direct knowledge of the allegations, including other residents
The nursing home is also required to conduct an internal investigation within five days of the complaint.
What happens if the Department of Health finds evidence of abuse?
The Department of Health reserves the right to sanction a nursing home if:
- Reports of abuse are not self-reported.
- The nursing home failed to maintain evidence of suspected incidents.
- The nursing home failed to take reasonable steps to keep its residents safe.
Potential sanctions include license revocation or suspension, a directed plan of correction, and a $5,000 fine (per instance).
How can a New Mexico nursing home abuse attorney help me?
When you file a complaint of nursing home abuse, you’re alerting the New Mexico Department of Health about a problem within a specific nursing facility. The Department of Health can help to (a) identify systemic problems of abuse or neglect and (b) force the nursing home to address the problem and ensure that residents are safe.
While this is important, it will not help to compensate your family member for what they’ve gone through. They were abused, neglected, or exploited while under the care of a licensed nursing facility in New Mexico, and now their life has been changed forever. They may suffer from debilitating, painful physical injuries. The trauma of the abuse might have permanently affected their emotional state and ability to enjoy their life. If they were a victim of identity theft or theft, the financial repercussions could be catastrophic.
The good news is that New Mexico law provides an opportunity for victims of nursing home abuse to demand accountability.
Through a civil nursing home abuse lawsuit, victims can tell their stories and fight to hold their caretakers (and the nursing facility) accountable for the harm and suffering they’ve inflicted.
Damages can be awarded for:
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Restitution for lost finances
In cases where the abuse was intentional or unaddressed, victims of nursing home abuse in New Mexico may qualify to receive punitive damages.
However, the thought of going up against a powerful nursing home can be intimidating. That’s where our New Mexico nursing home abuse lawyers can help.
We’re award-winning New Mexico personal injury lawyers who have been standing up for victims of nursing home abuse across the country since 1992.
Through personalized, client-centric representation, we’ve helped our clients recover more than $1 billion in life-changing settlements and jury awards.
We’re here to help you navigate this incredibly challenging season of your life. We’re here to be your fiercest advocate and work to make sure that the nursing home accepts responsibility for the harm it’s caused.
You’ll have a limited amount of time to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit, so call our New Mexico law office to learn more. We offer a free consultation, so reach out to get started today.
Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf.