Health Department takes hospital complaints

If a hospital is unclean, who do I complain to?

The state Health Department’s Health Standards Section investigates complaints about hospitals.

For a copy of the complaint form, visit www.ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/subhome/32 and click “File A Complaint” on the right side of the page. The next page will feature a link to the form, which you can download and print.

Mail the form to Louisiana Department of Health, Health Standards Section, Complaint Program Desk, P.O. Box 3767 Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or fax it to 225-342-5073.

“Complaint forms received by Health Standards Section are reviewed and a determination is made as to the course of action. Once the complaint report is reviewed, the complainant will receive written notice of the department’s decision,” reads the Health Department’s website.

“If a complaint has already been filed, in writing, directly to the facility, please allow the facility approximately 30 days to investigate the allegations and provide a response with their findings. If the facility fails to send you a written response within 30 days, you may contact our office to file a complaint.”

Under state law, the Health Standards Section must review all complaint reports and determine if “reasonable grounds for an investigation” exist.

“No report shall be investigated if in the office’s judgment it is not made in good faith, is outdated, or is trivial, or if the report is not within the investigating authority of the office,” reads R.S. 40:2009.14. “The office may further determine whether to consider a report as a complaint or as an allegation of noncompliance.”

If officials see no cause for an investigation, they must notify the complainant within 15 days after receiving the complaint.

How the statute defines some key terms:

Allegation of noncompliance — “an allegation that an event has occurred or is occurring that has the potential for causing no more than minimal harm to a consumer or consumers.”

Complaint — “an allegation that an event has occurred or is occurring and has the potential for causing more than minimal harm to a consumer or consumers.”

Outdated report — “a report pertaining to an incident that occurred one hundred twenty or more days prior to its being reported to the office.”

Trivial report — “a report of an allegation that an incident has occurred to a consumer or consumers that causes no physical or emotional harm and has no potential for causing harm to the consumer or consumers.”

Minimal harm — “an incident that causes no serious temporary or permanent physical or emotional damage and does not materially interfere with the consumer’s activities of daily living.”

For more information, call 225-342-0138 or email hss.mail@la.gov.

 


La. cigarette tax $1.08 per pack

What is the tax on cigarettes in Louisiana?

It’s $1.08 per pack, or just over a nickel per cigarette.

Online: www.rev.state.la.us.

 


 

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.

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Visit www.ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/subhome/32 and click “File A Complaint” 

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