Receiving Poor Health Care? What to Do About it

Many people receive below average standards of health care but don’t know where to file or what to do so they brush it off. If you believe you received poor health care from a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or a hospital there are ways you can file a complaint. And the poor health care can include billing problems and inadequate business practices. Filing a complaint is easy but knowing where to file can be the tricky part. All complaints are thoroughly investigated. However, results can vary from state to state, and from board to board. You will be notified of the outcome, which could include suspension or revocation of licenses.

Here’s how and where to file a complaint if you believe you are receiving poor health care. Contact the state licensing board in the state where the problem occurred. You can find the address, phone number and Web site of the medical licensing board at www.aimmembers.org/boarddirectory. Filing a complaint against a nurse or a pharmacist is done at the state level as well. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing lists all boards and their contact information at www.ncsbn.org. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy also lists each state board at www.nabp.net. A division of a state health’s department usually licenses hospitals and nursing homes.

You can also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office if you have a problem with a doctor’s bill or fraudulent billing. You can find contact information at www.naag.org/ag/full_ag_table.php. The attorney general investigates all business and criminal charges that might be brought against a doctor or facility. If you are a Medicare recipient or Medicaid beneficiary, call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 to file a complaint. They will pass it along to the appropriate government agency.

All complaints should be made in writing and to ensure a proper investigation, include the full name of the offending party, tell when, where, and what time the incident occurred, and include statement of witnesses, if available. Also, include a copy of your bills and other pertinent paperwork. No one should receive poor health care and you can do something about it to prevent it happening to you or anyone else.

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