How to File a Complaint Against Health Facilities
The Long Term Care Division within the Bureau of Health Care Services (BHCS) receives and processes consumer complaints against nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, hospitals, freestanding surgical units, ambulatory surgical units and end-stage renal dialysis centers.
The Division also receives and processes nursing home reported incidents submitted only by nursing home facilities. Facilities may click here to link to the incident reporting forms. Both complaints and incidents are entered into an automated tracking system, allegations of non-compliance with state and federal regulations are identifeid, priorities assigned, and the file is assigned for investigation. The Long Term Care Division is responsible for investigating complaints against nursing homes. Hospital and other non-long term care health facility complaints are investigated by the Health Facilities Division.
THREE METHODS FOR FILING A COMPLAINT:
- Complete and submit the complaint online using the BHCS Health Facility Online Complaint Form.
- Call the Toll-free Complaint Hotline at 800-882-6006.
- Mail or fax a completed Resident/Patient Care Complaint Form (BHCS-LTC-361) that can be obtained by click on the form above, printing and completing, or by submitting a letter to the address provided in the "Contact Information" shown at the bottom of the page that includes:
♦ The name and address of the facility;
♦ The nature of the complaint;
♦ The date of the incident;
♦ The complainant's name, address and daytime telephone number.
Nursing Home Appeal Process
Citizens that file a complaint regarding a nursing home received a letter at the completion of an investgiation that includes the findings of the investigation. A complainant who is dissatisfied with the determination or investigation by the Bureau of Health Care Services may request a hearing. The request for hearing must be submitted within 30 days after the mailing of the Bureau's investigative findings. The Michigan Administrative Hearings System within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will send a notice of the time and place of hearing to the complainant and the nursing home. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if the investigation was complete.
A complainant may be represented by an attorney, but attorney representation is not required. The complainant has the burden of proof during the hearing and must be prepared to show by presentation of evidence or testimony of witnesses that:
♦ The Bureau's investigation was incomplete, and
♦ The Bureau failed to consider relevant and substantive information, and
♦ A reinvestigation would uncover new evidence that might lead to findings different from those of the
The findings of the investigation are not subject to review. A reinvestigation will be conducted if the hearing determines the investigation was inadequate and the Director of the Department agrees. The hearing officer does not evaluate the Bureau of Health Care Services' decision to cite (or not cite) violations of specific laws and cannot issue citations or fines. For reference see MCL 333.21799c(9) and MCL 333.20176(2). Hearings are conducted under the MIchigan Administrative Procedures Act, MCL 24.271 et seq. The complainant and nursing home are parties and both may present evidence and examine witnesses. Bureau staff may attend to answer questions regarding the investigation.
Hospital Appeal Process
Citizens that file a complaint regarding a hospital are sent a letter upon the completion of an investigation. A complainant may appeal the findings. The appeal must be in writing and sent to the Bureau of Health Care Services, Attention: Long Term Care Division/Complaint Appeals (address below).
Appeals for either a nursing home complaint or hospital complaint should include the name of the facility, resident(s) involved, and the complaint number, if possible, with the statement, "I request a hearing" signed by the complainant and sent to the address below.
Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Health Care Services
Long Term Care Division
PO Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
Complaint Hotline: 800-882-6006
Fax: 517-241-0093 (to submit the Resident/Patient Care Form only)