File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

Do you have concerns about care provided at a nursing home or health care facility? File a complaint here.

Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification Complaint Unit

The Details of File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

What you need for File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

Things to consider before you fill out a complaint

Facilities are required to have a process for responding to concerns regarding the care of residents/patients. Although it is not required that you file a complaint directly with the facility, you are encouraged to raise any concerns with the management of the facility or, for nursing homes, the Long-term Care Ombudsman. Most often, the facility will be able to begin addressing your concerns immediately and give you information about the facility’s complaint/grievance procedure. Speak to your facility’s staff for contact details or review the Long Term Care Ombudsman Local Contact Information (DOC) for more information.

If you are not the resident or patient

If you are not the person receiving medical care, their legal surrogate, or have their permission to receive their personal medical information, you will need to have the patient/resident or their legal surrogate sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form (RTF). This form lets us share full details about any outcome of our investigation with you. Please submit this form with your written complaint so that we can share information with you as quickly as possible.

Please use the instructions below to file a complaint with the Department of Public Health. Do not use the “Send Feedback” at the bottom of this page.

How to file File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

  1. Print and and complete the Consumer/Resident/Patient Complaint Form
  2. Fax completed form to (617) 753-8165

Please note: to protect patient and resident privacy, all complaints must be made by fax, mail, or telephone. Do not use email for any complaint materials.

  1. Print and and complete the Consumer/Resident/Patient Complaint Form
  2. Mail completed form to:

    Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification
    Complaint Intake Unit
    99 Chauncy St.
    Boston, MA 02111

Please note: to protect patient and resident privacy, all complaints must be made by fax, mail, or telephone. Do not use email for any complaint materials.

We prefer submission via fax or mail.

If you are unable to file a written complaint, please call the 24-hour consumer complaint line at (800) 462-5540.

Please note: to protect patient and resident privacy, all complaints must be made by fax, mail, or telephone. Do not use email for any complaint materials.

Next steps for File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

  1. After filing a complaint

    1. For written complaints:
      • We will mail you an acknowledgement letter within 10 business days of receipt. If we determine there is a possible violation of a regulation and an onsite investigation is warranted, we will mail you a separate letter within 10 business days.
      • If your complaint is better addressed by another agency, we will send you a letter within 10 business days which outlines which agency the matter has been referred to and how you can contact them.
    2. Voice mail messages:
      • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​We generally responded to within 1 to 2 business days; however, calls are prioritized based on information provided.
    3. Staff gathers initial information and determines any non-compliance based on state and Federal guidelines. If an investigation at the facility is warranted and an annual survey of the same facility is underway, the complaint investigation can be incorporated into the annual survey.
    4. Next, staff performs a process known as Disposition where steps are taken that lead to a final determination of a case as well as the outcome to be reported to the complainant.
    5. For all on-site investigations/surveys, our agency will provide written information regarding the findings of the survey, including whether areas of non-compliance have been identified.
    6. When areas on non-compliance are identified during a survey, findings are documented, and our agency requires that the facility submit a written a plan of correction. Findings may include, but aren’t limited to a citing of deficiency with no enforcement action, up to a declaration of immediate jeopardy at a facility, which may result in fines, a freeze on admissions, or a revocation of a provider’s license.
  2. How we respond

    Our agency reviews the facts of each complaint to see if the health care facility may have violated any State and Federal regulations. Complaints are responded to in a variety of ways. This includes:

    • Obtaining additional information from the provider
    • Performing an off-site review of the issue
    • Reviewing concerns during the facility’s next survey
    • Reviewing and filing concerns
    • Referring the complaint to a provider’s accrediting organization
    • Referring the complaint to another agency when appropriate
    • Performing monitoring visits
    • Performing an on-site complaint survey

More info about File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

Other Complaints

If your complaint is about a person or facility which is outside our jurisdiction, the complaint should be made directly to the correct agency:

Contact for File a complaint regarding a nursing home or other health care facility

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