There may be situations where you are concerned about the care that you or someone close to you is receiving and you feel the need to reach out with concerns. Here are some suggestions.
- It’s important to be an informed advocate: Ensuring that you or someone you are caring for is receiving quality care, delivered in a safe manner, is always a priority to healthcare providers. Sometimes problems are complicated, but people should understand why care is being provided in the way that it is. It is important to be an advocate – for yourself or your loved one.
- Speak up to your doctor: Often issues can be dealt with quickly and easily if everyone is willing. The Conversation Project offers a guide on talking with your Health Care team.
- Medicare concerns: Should you have concerns about care that is covered by Medicare, you can reach out to Medicare by visiting the Medicare.gov website for information on how to file a complaint. You also may contact your state’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.
- Medicaid concerns: Should you have concerns about care that is covered by Medicaid, you can reach out to the state’s Medicaid office. Medicaid.gov offers a web page with links to each state’s Medicaid office.
- Hospice provider concerns: If you have concerns about care provided by a hospice organization, and you have already spoken with the hospice program’s administrator about your concerns, you can contact your state’s survey agency. This Medicare webpage provides information about who to contact.
- Elder abuse: If you have concerns that someone may be suffering from elder abuse, make your concerns know to the hospice program administrator. The Department of Health and Human Services offers a web page with information about who to contact.
Resources to file a complaint
Most hospitals have patient advocates and/or ombudsmen who can help you if you have problems. They can help you with the process for registering a complaint, if appropriate. Many states have an ombudsman office for problems with long term care.
Your state’s Department of Health or Department of Insurance may also be able to help. In addition, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaird has multiple venues to register complaints.
If you believe your civil rights have been violated, visit the HHS website on civil rights and healthcare to learn more and possibly file a complaint.