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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment | Health Facilities

Filing a Complaint

Male Customer Service Representative on Phone

The division encourages complainants to try to resolve concerns first through the health care entity’s grievance process because very often this is the quickest way to address the problem. For assisted living residences and nursing homes, complainants may also wish to contact the facility's Long Term Care ombudsman. If concerns cannot be addressed satisfactorily through these more informal processes, the consumer can file a formal complaint with the division.

 

 

Complaints are investigated for all health care entities regulated by the division regarding issues that fall under its jurisdiction. This includes the quality of care provided, patient/resident rights, as well as building and equipment safety. Although the division can help you obtain an itemized bill from acute and primary health care entities -- namely birth centers, community clinics, convalescent centers, dialysis treatment clinics, hospitals, and hospital units -- it does not investigate complaints regarding incorrect billing.

Anyone with knowledge or concerns about a health care entity can file a complaint, including family members, concerned citizens and health care professionals. 

Complaints may be filed anonymously. Note that as a matter of general procedure, complaint investigators do not share the complainant's name with the health care entity unless otherwise instructed by the complainant. However, in some cases the health care entity may be able to figure out the complainant's identity because of the nature of the complaint itself. When filing anonymously, be sure to provide sufficient information to enable the division to effectively investigate the complaint, since we cannot contact you for further information.

Provide the following information when lodging a complaint:

 

  • who was involved
  • what happened
  • when it happened
  • how it happened
  • where it happened

Complaints can be filed by:

  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Fax
  • Mail

 

Phone in a complaint:

 

Health Care Entity Type

Phone Number Toll Free (in state only)

Assisted Living Residences (ALRs)

303-691-4045 1-800-886-7689, enter 4045
Home Care Agencies (HCAs) 303-692-2910 1-800-842-8826
Hospitals 303-692-2827

1-800-886-7689, ext 2827

Nursing Homes 303-692-2442 1-800-886-7689, ext 2442
All health care entities other
than ALRs, HCAs, hospitals
and nursing homes
303-692-2904 1-800-886-7689, ext 2904

 

E-mail complaints to: cdphe.hfdintake@state.co.us
In the “Subject Line”, enter: [Relevant health care entity type]
Complaint Intake. 

 

Fax complaints to: 303-753-6214.
In the “To:” section, enter: [Relevant health care entity type]
Complaint Intake.

 

Mail complaints to:


CDPHE, HFEMSD-A2
Attention: [Relevant health care entity type] Complaint Intake
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530 

  

 

Complaints are reviewed and prioritized based on actual or potential patient/resident harm. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the investigation is conducted either on-site at the health care entity or offsite. Onsite investigations usually involve interviewing a sample of patient/residents, family members and staff and reviewing the health care entity’s records. Offsite investigations typically involve a review of the health care entity’s records and often includes interviews with staff.

Unless the complaint was filed anonymously, the complaint investigator will notify the complainant by phone of the investigation outcome, and will write a summary of the investigation. The complainant will receive in writing a summary of the investigation results.

After conducting an investigation, the investigator may or may not be able to substantiate the complaint allegations based on the evidence gathered. (Please note that the inability to substantiate an allegation does not reflect whether or not the reported incident occurred; rather, it means that there was insufficient supporting evidence to verify its occurrence.) If the findings indicate that the health care entity is not in compliance with statute or regulations, the division cites deficient practice and the health care entity must correct the violation.