Below is from the SC DHEC website. DHEC is the state agency that has the responsibility to oversee and supervise nursing homes in SC. Typically, they do nothing.
Do you have a complaint to file?
We ask that you carefully read the following information before filing a complaint. If you have supporting documents, please submit a copy – do not send originals. Listed below is the information you will need in order to mail or phone in your complaint.
Investigation and resolution of complaints are a critical Division of Health Licensing responsibility. A complaint is defined as an allegation that relates to a condition, events relative to a licensed activity, or to an activity subject to licensure. The Department is required to investigate any written or verbal complaint which indicates that there may be a violation of the licensing standards.
Any individual making a complaint against a licensed activity or provider may do so anonymously. If a complainant reveals his/her identity and requests confidentiality, the Department will not disclose the complainant’s identity unless mandated by state or federal law.
Your complaint will be assigned to an inspector who will determine if the Department can assist you. Written acknowledgement of our receipt of your complaint will be sent to you. Because of record keeping requirements and the need for accuracy, we ask that your complaint be submitted in writing, however you may call us with your concerns.
To generate an investigation, the Department must receive a complaint from an individual regarding an expression of discontentment, concern, and/or distress which may involve the conduct of the staff, conditions of the activity, care of the clients, etc., in an activity licensed by the Department. These expressions of concern could also involve a potentially unlicensed activity which may be operating illegally. In all instances, there must be an identification of a possible violation of a licensing standard.
Once an investigation is completed, the inspector will send a written report to you. Please contact the Department if your complaint is resolved before you hear from us.
The Department cannot always resolve complaints to the satisfaction of all complainants; however, we will investigate the complaint based on the facts, the appropriate regulation(s), and advise you of our findings. Our complaint inspectors are knowledgeable about the regulations and have access to attorneys who provide legal guidance for the staff.
Complaints regarding concerns not under the jurisdiction of the Department may be referred to another state agency or local authorities as appropriate.
Complaints concerning abuse – physical, sexual or psychological, or financial exploitation, or neglect or abandonment of a resident, (whether the incident occurred inside or outside of the facility) will be referred to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, (800) 868-9095.
Complaints concerning Medicare and Medicaid should be referred to the Department’s Certification Division.
It is preferable that you try to resolve your own complaint before contacting the Division of Health Licensing. However, if you have exhausted your efforts to resolve the problem without success, contact us for assistance.
The Department receives a large number of complaints which require varying lengths of time to resolve. Your patience is appreciated and we will contact you as soon as possible.
Jim Perrow, Customer Service
DHEC Health Licensing
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 545-4212 (Fax)