Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocates


Note: The U.S. Social Security Act mandates the establishment of minimum health and safety standards as published in Title 42 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) chapter iv, part 418. The state Departments of Health, bureaus of licensing and certification (or other names that are similar), maintain agreements with the U.S. Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Sections 1864 and 1874 of the U.S. Social Security Act direct the state agency to determine whether health care entities (including hospices) meet Federal standards for certification. Therefore, the state survey process is designed to ensure Medicare beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients receive quality services as defined by the regulations. States may "survey," or "inspect" a hospice agency as a regularly scheduled inspection, or they may survey the hospice in direct response to a complaint filed by you.

We recommend that you do not call by telephone. Complaints must be put in writing to be effective! Click here for complaint form to give you some suggestions on how to put a complaint together.

If the hospice is "Joint Commission Accredited" by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (The Joint Commission), then you can also send a complaint to The Joint Commission'S offices at: 1 Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181. You can also file a complaint with The Joint Commission directly on the Internet by accessing their website at: www.The Joint Commission.org

State Health Care Facility Licensing & Certification Divisions

We have tried to list each State's Health Care Facility Licensing and Certification Division's contact information, but many of the States regularly change their department names or addresses or phone numbers and emails, so we suggest you simply go to the State's main website at: USA.gov, and search for their Department of Health, then the Division that does the Certification and Licensing. These are the staff that will take the complaints and investigate.

If you can't find the Division of Licensing and Certification for your State, then simply telephone the general information number and ask the information agent for the name of the State's Department of Health, Division of Licensing and Certification and where it could be found online.

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