1. What kind of complaint does this Board review?
The HCSB investigates complaints against health care providers , i.e. physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, etc. who provide services to injured workers under M.G.L. ch. 152. The HCSB is obligated to investigate complaints alleging patterns of: discrimination, overutilization, unnecessary surgery or other procedures and other inappropriate treatment of workers' compensation claimants.
2. Am I required to hire an attorney to file a complaint?
No! Complaints may be filed by employees, employers, or insurers or their representatives about any health care provider who provides services to injured workers under M.G.L. ch. 152.
3. How do I file a complaint?
Complaints should be filed in writing on Form 134 provided by the Health Care Services Board (HCSB). You may download Form 134 from the Department of Industrial Accident's website or request the form by calling the Department of Industrial Accidents at (617) 727-4900 ext: 310.
The complaint form and any attachments should be signed and mailed to:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Industrial Accidents
Health Care Services Board
1 Congress St., Suite 100
Boston, MA 02114-2017
4. What happens after I file a complaint?
Complaints are referred to the Chair of the HCSB Complaint Subcommittee who then assigns the complaint to be reviewed and investigated by two members of the HCSB. Following the reviewer's recommendation, the complaint will be scheduled for the next HCSB's meeting and brought before the full Board for its vote. The complainant and the provider named in the complaint will be notified and invited to attend this meeting.
5. Do I have to attend the meeting when the complaint is reviewed?
It is the decision of the parties involved whether or not they should attend. In any event, the complaint will go forward as scheduled and the parties involved will be notified by mail of the Board's decision.
6. What can the Board do about complaints?
The HCSB is not a State Licensing Board, therefore it does not have the authority to deny or revoke a provider's license to practice. However, members of the Board are qualified professionals who can determine whether treatment (medical or otherwise) is appropriate. If the HCSB determines that there is a "pattern of abuse", the HCSB's findings can be forwarded to State Licensing Boards, who do have the power to conduct investigations, and deny or revoke a provider's license to practice when determined appropriate to do so. In an extreme case, the Board may refer its investigation to the proper law enforcement agencies.