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Understanding F585 Grievances: A SMK Medical Guide to Compliance in Healthcare.

Understanding F585 Grievances: A SMK Medical Guide to Compliance in Healthcare.

SMK Medical is known for being your healthcare compliance partner. Today, the compliance minute blog is going to discuss F-585 Grievances.

Before we get started, let's review the requirements for F-585: CMS states.

Residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities regarding grievances:

  1. Right to Voice Grievances (§483.10(j)(1)): Residents have the right to express grievances about their care, treatment, staff behavior, other residents, and other aspects of their LTC stay without fear of discrimination or reprisal.
  2. Prompt Resolution of Grievances (§483.10(j)(2)): Facilities are required to make prompt efforts to address and resolve any grievances raised by residents.
  3. Access to Grievance Information (§483.10(j)(3)): Facilities must provide residents with information on how to file a grievance or complaint.
  4. Establishment of a Grievance Policy (§483.10(j)(4)): Facilities must have a policy in place for the prompt resolution of grievances related to residents' rights. A copy of this policy must be made available to residents upon request.

Understanding F585 Grievances:

Residents have the right to voice grievances without fear of discrimination or reprisal, as per SOM Appendix PP F585. Grievances may cover various areas, including care and treatment, staff behavior, or concerns regarding the resident's stay. Prompt resolution of grievances is not just a right but a requirement, and facilities must actively work towards resolving complaints while acknowledging the resident's concerns.

The Grievance Policy:

You will need a policy and procedure to manage the grievance process and avoid citations. A robust grievance policy is essential for compliance. The policy should cover crucial components, including:

  1. Identification and Role of the Grievance Officer:
  • Designation of an individual to oversee the entire grievance process.
  • Handling grievances from complaint to resolution, including conducting investigations when necessary.

2. Notification of Residents' Rights:

  • Informing residents individually or through prominent postings about their right to file grievances orally or in writing.
  • Providing information on filing grievances anonymously.
  • Displaying contact information for the Grievance Officer and external entities that can address grievances.

3. Protection Measures for Residents:

  • Clearly outlining immediate actions taken during the investigation to prevent further violations and protect the resident.

4. Reporting Requirements:

  • Immediate reporting of alleged violations of neglect, abuse, and misappropriation of resident property, following F609 and State law reporting requirements.

5. Corrective Actions:

  • Addressing how the facility will implement corrective actions if a violation is confirmed by the facility or an external entity with jurisdiction.

6. Written Grievance Decision:

  • This includes specific elements in the written decision, such as the date of grievance receipt, a summary of the resident's grievance, investigation steps taken, findings/conclusions, confirmation status, corrective actions, and the date the decision was issued.
  • Ensuring that results of all grievances are retained for at least three years.

Closing the Loop:

CMS seeks to establish a comprehensive process that upholds residents' rights to voice concerns and ensures prompt acknowledgment and resolution by the facility. Closing the loop on the grievance process within appropriate time frames and providing outcome information to the resident is crucial for transparency and compliance.


SMK Medical encourages providers to develop a robust grievance policy and foster an environment where residents feel heard and their concerns are addressed promptly. If you need assistance designing your grievance program or have any other compliance or risk concerns, please visit our website or contact us at 313-314-8267.

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