If you experience a problem related to hospice care, you have several options:
- Discuss the issue with the staff person who is directly involved.
- Speak with that staff person's immediate supervisor.
- Speak with the nurse in charge or the Medical Director.
- Use the formal complaint procedure, which each hospice must have under Maryland regulations.
- Make a report to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) at 410-402-8039 or 1-800-492-6005. A nurse surveyor will investigate the complaint and seek resolution. You will receive a letter about the outcome of the investigation. Anonymous complaints are also accepted. You may also file a complaint electronically.
- If the program is accredited by the Joint Commission you may contact this organization to make a complaint.
If you believe a hospice patient is being abused, you should certainly contact one of the professional staff on the hospice team. Staff also have a duty to report suspected abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities. You may also want to make an Adult Protective Services complaint to the Adult Services Unit of the Department of Social Services. In Baltimore County, the phone number is 410-853-3000. There is a main number for the Departments of Social Services in other counties in Maryland and in Baltimore City. The staff there will direct you to Adult Protective Services.