Complaint investigation by OHFLAC

Complaint investigation by OHFLAC

Try as you may, there will ALWAYS be residents, resident family members or even staff members that you cannot make happy no matter what you do. Often these disgruntled individuals will call in a complaint to the West Virginia Office of Health Facility Licensure & Certification to which would prompt a complaint investigation. Check out the regulation below as to how those investigations are handled by OHFLAC:


3.7.  Complaint Investigation.


3.7.1.  Any person may register a complaint with the Secretary alleging a violation of this rule by an assisted living residence or an individual alleged to be unlawfully operating an assisted living residence, by stating the complaint and identifying the name and address of the residence.


3.7.2.  The Secretary may conduct investigations as necessary to determine the validity of the complaint and shall notify the licensee of the residence or the individual alleged to be operating an illegal assisted living residence of the complaint at the time of the completion of the investigation.


3.7.3.  The Secretary shall notify the licensee or the operator of an unlicensed residence of any corrective action required, the time frame for completion of the corrective action, and any disciplinary action to be taken by the Secretary.


3.7.4.  Except as provided in subdivision 3.7.5. of this rule, the Secretary shall keep the names of a complainant and of any resident named in the complaint confidential and shall not disclose the names to the public without written or verbal permission of the complainant and the resident, and his or her legal representative, if any, unless there is an immediate risk to the resident.  The Secretary shall delete the name of a complainant or resident named in a complaint or information contained in the report of an investigation that could reasonably identify the complainant or any resident.  Information contained in any report of abuse, neglect, or an emergency situation made in accordance with W. Va. Code §9-6-8 shall be confidential and shall not be released except as provided in that article.


3.7.5.  If a complaint becomes the subject of a judicial proceeding, nothing in this rule is construed to prohibit the disclosure of information that would otherwise be disclosed in judicial proceedings.


3.7.6.  Any type of discriminatory treatment of a resident or employee by whom or on whose behalf a complaint has been submitted to the Secretary, within 120 days of the filing of the complaint or the institution of the action, raises a rebuttal presumption that the discriminatory treatment action was taken by the licensee in retaliation for the complaint or action.

Pro Tip:

  1. While complaint inspections can be nerve wrecking, try to be as calm and courteous to the investigator as possible. If they sense you have something to hide the will continue to dig until they find something to substantiate the complaint.
  2. Provide all the requested information to them as quickly as possible
  3. If you deem to be at fault, it is a good thought to show apologies and be willing to receive education of how you can better your practices.