Complaints Process FAQs

Complaints Process

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What happens to a complaint once it is filed?

It is: reviewed for possible violations of Florida law; investigated if the review determines a possible violation; and referred to the Prosecution Services Unit after investigation.

Healthcare Practitioner Regulatory Process Chart (pdf – 80kb)

Can a complaint be filed electronically from the website?

No, but a copy of the complaint form may be printed from the website and mailed or faxed.

Against whom can complaints be filed?

Complaints can be filed against any healthcare practitioner or facility licensed or regulated by the Department of Health’€™s Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA).  Complaints can also be filed against any individual or facility providing heath care services regulated by MQA without a valid Florida license.  Information on Regulated Professions

To file a complaint on a non-medical related business or profession, please visit the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Who can file a complaint?

Anyone can file a complaint. Complaints should be clearly written or typed, and signed. Complaints can be filed through our Consumer Services Unit.

Will the person filing the complaint be required to participate in the investigation?

The department may contact the person filing the complaint to request additional information or to testify in a formal hearing before the Division of Administrative Hearings.

Does it cost anything to file a complaint?

No; however, the person filing the complaint may be required to pay for copies of medical records.

Are complaints confidential?

Complaints remain confidential until ten days after the probable cause panel of the Board has determined that a violation has occurred. Patient identity and patient records remain confidential at all times.

Will the practitioner know that a complaint has been filed?

Florida Statutes require that if the complaint is opened for investigation, the healthcare practitioner be given a copy of the complaint.

Can I file a complaint over the phone?

Regulatory complaints cannot be filed over the phone because Florida law requires that the complaint be signed. However, you may file an unlicensed activity complaint over the phone by calling 1-800-HALT-ULA

How are complaints filed?

Complaints should be clearly written or typed, and signed. Complaints can be filed through our Consumer Services Unit.

Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?

Yes, as provided below:

  • Incidents occurring before July 1, 2006 -€“ no time limit
  • Incident occurring after July 1, 2006 -€“ six (6) years.
  • If fraud, concealment or intentional misrepresentation of facts prevented the discovery of the alleged violation – 12 years.
  • If criminal actions, diversion of controlled substances, sexual misconduct, or impairment by a licensee – no limit.

Where can complaints against a Hospital, an Assisted Living Facility or a Nursing Home be filed?

Complaints against hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes should be filed with the Agency for Health Care Administration.

What happens to the healthcare practitioner as a result of a complaint?

If the practitioner is found to have violated the law, the department or regulatory board may issue a citation or impose one or more of the following penalties:

  • letter of guidance
  • reprimand
  • fine
  • restriction of practice
  • continuing education probation
  • license suspension
  • license revocation

Who will be notified throughout the process?

The person filing the complaint and the healthcare practitioner will be notified periodically in writing of the status of the complaint. (It is important that the department be advised of any address change.)

What issues may not be investigated by MQA?

Fee disputes (i.e. broken or missed appointments)

Billing disputes (It is the responsibility of consumers to know the terms of their insurance coverage and approved providers.)

Personality conflicts

Bedside manner or rudeness of practitioners

For additional information, please see Consumer Services