Many state agencies want to know about harmful medical errors and serious concerns for a patient or resident’s well-being. Below, you’ll find information about how to file complaints against hospitals and other facilities.
Sometimes an individual health care provider should be reported to the state, particularly in cases when you think a doctor, nurse or other member of your care team was negligent, abusive or committed a crime. Instructions for reporting individuals can also be found below.
If you are unsure where to begin, contact the Department of Public Health at 1-800-462-5540.
Please note that the information below should not be used for complaints or questions related to billing. Insurance or payment related questions may be directed to the Attorney General’s health care hotline at 1-888-830-6277 run by the AG’s Health Care Division.
How to file a complaint about your care at a:
- Ambulatory surgery center
- Dialysis center
Report safety concerns and incidents to the Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification at DPH. For accuracy, DPH prefers to receive complaints in writing, using a formal complaint form, when possible. The form may be submitted by either fax or mail to the contact information listed below. A 24-hour complaint line is also available to patients at 1-800-462-5540 or 1-617-753-8150.
Individuals submitting a complaint on a patient’s behalf must first complete a HIPPA form signed by the patient. See DPH’s consumer complaint instructions for more information.
Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification Complaint Intake
Unit 99 Chauncy Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02111
Fax number: 617 753 8165
How to file a complaint about your care at a nursing home, rest home, or other long-term care facility
First report incidents or concerns to DPH using the same complaint form and instructions as those above for hospitals.
Note that if you have a concern about an assisted living facility, you will instead need to contact the state's Assisted Living Ombudsman program. Begin by making a phone call to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at 1-617-727-7750 or 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636) to be connected with someone who can help you.
In addition, you or a representative may also:
- Contact a Long-term Care Ombudsman. An ombudsman will investigate concerns, provide information and referrals, and advocate for residents’ rights and safety. Ombudsmen are responsible for helping residents in long-term facilities based on the city or town in which the facility is located. Find contact information for your designated long-term ombudsman.
- Report instances of elder abuse or neglect by calling the state’s Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. The hotline, run by the state's Executive Office of Elder Affairs, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Abuse includes not only physical or sexual abuse, but also emotional or financial exploitation and neglect by a caregiver.
How to file a complaint about your care at a mental health facility
Mail this complaint form to the state’s Department of Mental Health to report concerns about dangerous, illegal, or inhumane treatment of an individual receiving mental health services. The form should be used for any complaint involving a program or facility that DMH operates, contracts with, or licenses.
You may also direct questions to the DMH Director of Investigations at 1-617-626-8108 or the agency’s Information and Resource line at 1-800-221-0053.
Department of Mental Health
Central Office of Investigations
25 Staniford Street Boston, MA 02114
How to file a complaint about an ambulance or emergency medical service company
Let the state’s Office of Emergency Medical Services know about your concern by filling out this EMS complaint form and submitting it via email, fax, or mail at the contact information listed below. For questions about the agency’s complaint process, call 1-617-753-7300.
Office of Emergency Medical Services Mass.
Department of Public Health 99 Chauncy Street, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Fax: (617) 753-7320
How to file a report about an individual health care professional
Individual providers, such as doctors and nurses, are licensed by professional boards appointed by the state. These boards ensure that all clinicians who treat patients in Massachusetts are competent professionals. If you believe your provider was negligent in providing your care or behaved in an unprofessional way, you may report your concern to a licensing board using the appropriate form below:
Doctor | Nurse |
Other licensed providers
Mental Health Counselor
Nursing Home Administrator
Perfusionist (operator of a heart-lung machine)
Respiratory Care Therapist