You don't have to take that hospital's or nursing home's actions lying down. Not figuratively anyway.
The public can file complaints to the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, agencies that can enter a healthcare facility, inspect records, issue fines and demand fixes that are intended to prevent similar problems in the future.
To file a complaint about a hospital or nursing home to the California Department of Public Health, call (800) 554-0354, the state’s toll-free complaint line, or mail a complaint to one of the department’s 15 district offices. Here's the list. Or submit it online.
Such feedback can even be done anonymously.
Complaints can also be filed with the local regional office of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by telephone at (415) 744-3501, or in writing to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Division of Survey and Certification, Region IX, 90 7th St., San Francisco, CA 94103. Addresses of Medicare’s other regional offices can be found here.
On Jan. 27, 13 California hospitals were fined for medical errors that in some cases killed or seriously injured patients. Full story.
— Rong-Gong Lin II