Victims of medical errors typically experience a range of emotions, including confusion, disbelief, grief, guilt, betrayal and anger. In the aftermath of this emotional rollercoaster, many people have a burning desire to hold the responsible parties accountable. People often feel strongly that they don’t want this catastrophe to happen to anyone else. While this sense of injustice is very powerful, the stark reality is that there are limited options for holding negligent caregivers accountable because the healthcare industry is poorly regulated. Following are some options for reporting medical errors in Ohio.
When a medical error occurs, victims can report the error to professional boards as follows: for an error by a physician, report to the Ohio State Medical Board (614-466-3934); for an error by a nurse, report to the Ohio State Board of Nursing (614-466-3947); for an error by a dentist, report to the Ohio State Dental Board (614-466-2580). When the complaint is against a hospital, you can report it to the Joint Commission (800-994-6610), a non-profit entity that certifies hospitals. If the complaint is against a nursing home, you can report it to the Ohio Department of Health (800-342-0553). The Ohio Department of Health maintains another hotline for substandard home health care (800-669-3534).
When a patient who pays for healthcare through Medicare or Medicaid, complaints involving fraud or abuse can be made to a local Medicare/Medicaid office (614-728-7741). Likewise, when the claim arises out of care provided at a Veterans Affairs clinic, a formal written complaint must be presented. We recommend that you seek the assistance of an attorney in filing a VA claim where the medical error results in serious injury or death.
Note that under Ohio law, you have one year from the date of an act of medical negligence to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within one year, you will be forever barred from seeking compensation for injuries caused by medical errors. This is a general rule that is subject to a number of exceptions. For example, when an act of medical negligence results in death, a wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the date of death. There are also provisions for extending the statute of limitations in certain circumstances. Note that filing a complaint with one of the aforementioned agencies does not stop the statute of limitations from running. If you have any questions about bringing a possible medical claim, you should consult an Ohio medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.