In my almost 40 years of helping consumers with health-care problems, the number-one reason that people have contacted me is to find out where to file a complaint about a doctor, hospital, nurse or pharmacist.

In most cases, the individual is not interested in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Rather, he/she simply wants to report shoddy business practices, including billing problems, or poor health care.

Filing a complaint is relatively easy. But knowing where to file can be tricky. All complaints are investigated. Results vary from state to state, and from board to board, but you will be notified of the outcome, which could include suspension or revocation of the health-care provider's license. Here's how and where to file a complaint when you have a gripe against a health-care practitioner or a facility…

State Licensing Board

If you have a complaint against a doctor licensing board in the state where the problem occurred. All doctors must be licensed by the state in which they practice. You can find the address, phone number and ITeb site of the medical licensing board in your state at LUuu. a imm e m b e rs. org/ b o a rd dire c to ry. Filing a complaint against a nurse or a pharmacist also is done at the state level. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing lists all the boards and their contact information at uru/ Click "Boards of Nursing" on their home

The NationalAssociation of Boards of Pharmacy also lists each state board Click "Boards of Pharmacy" on the home page. Hospitals and nursing homes are usually licensed by a division of a state's health department. If you do not have access to a computer, call your state's governor's office for the phone number of the board you are trying to reach.

Attorney General's Office

If you have a complaint about a doctor's bill or you suspect fraudulent billing, you also should file a complaint with your state's attorney general's office. You can find contact information from the National Association of Attorneys General at Click "The Attorneys General" on the homepage. The attorney general investigates and litigates all business and criminal charges that might need to be brought against a licensed doctor or facility. The attorney general's office may refer some criminal complaints to your local district attorney's office.


If you are a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary and have a complaint against a doctor or hospital for matters relating to your insurance, call Medicare at 800-633-4227 to file your complaint. They will pass it along to the appropriate government agency.

All complaints should be made in writing. To ensure a proper investigation, include the full name of the offending party...tell where, when and what time the incident occurred...and include statements of witnesses, if available. Also include copies of bills and other pertinent paperwork, if requested.

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