Facility Complaint and Investigation Section
The Facility Complaint and Investigation Section 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. See A Citizen's Guide to Filing a Complaint Against a Health Care Facility, the Nursing Home Complaint Resolution Process and the Michigan Operations Manual.
The Section 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 identified, priorities assigned, and the file is assigned for investigation. The Complaint Investigation Unit 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 Complaint Investigation Unit 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 clicking on the form name shown above, printing and completing, or by submitting a letter to the address provided in "Contact Information" shown at the bottom of the page that includes:
- The name and the address of facility.
- The nature of the complaint.
- The date of the incident.
- The complainant's name, address, and a daytime telephone number.
Nursing Home Appeal Process
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:
Citizens that file a complaint regarding a nursing home receive a letter at the completion of an investigation 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 Hearing System for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will send 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.
- 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 initial investigation.
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. See for reference 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: 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 and Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Health Care Services
Long Term Care Division
Complaint Investigation Unit
PO Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
Complaint Hotline: 800-882-6006
Fax: 517-241-0093 (to submit the Resident/Patient Care Complaint Form only)