How Do I Make a Complaint about an HHS Service Provider?

Texas Health and Human Services Commission has introduced a new portal under the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal for complaints against any provider that is licensed or certified by Texas Health and Human Services that has broken the rules.

Complaints can come from anyone — the person affected, family members, health care providers, advocates, police or other state agencies. You can make a complaint over the phone, online or in writing.

Complaints can be made about:

  • Abortion Centers
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Birthing Centers
  • Clinical Laboratories
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Crisis Stabilization Units
  • Day activity and health services (DAHS)
  • Individualized Skills and Socialization
  • Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Centers
  • End Stage Renal Disease Facilities
  • General, Special and Psychiatric Hospitals
  • Home health
  • Intermediate care facilities (also called public and private group homes)
  • Hospice
  • Narcotic/Opioid Treatment Facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Outpatient Physical Therapy or Speech Pathology Service Facilities
  • Personal assistance services
  • Portable X-Ray Services
  • Rural Health Clinics
  • State supported living centers
  • Special Care Facilities
  • Substance Abuse (chemical dependency) Treatment Facilities

Read the user guide to submitting complaints online (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file a complaint?

The most direct method of filing a complaint is to use the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) that is available 24/7.  The complaint information is documented in an electronic tracking system. The person who files a complaint online receives an intake number immediately upon submission.

To make a complaint via phone against nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, state supported living centers, home health, hospice, personal assistance agencies, prescribed pediatric extended care centers and day activity and health services, call toll-free 800-458-9858.

To make a complaint via phone against ambulatory surgical centers, birthing centers, community mental health centers, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, end stage renal disease facilities, freestanding emergency medical care facilities, general hospitals, special and psychiatric hospitals, crisis stabilization units, laboratories (CLIA), outpatient physical therapy or speech pathology service facilities, portable x-ray services, rural health clinics and special care facilities call toll-free 800-458-9858, Option 5.

To make a complaint via phone against substance abuse (chemical dependency) treatment facilities or narcotic/opioid treatment facilities call toll-free 800-458-9858, Option 6.

Agents answer calls Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. If you call outside those hours, leave a voicemail and an employee will return your call by the next workday.

When leaving a message, please:

  • State and spell your name
  • Provide a daytime phone number with area code where you can be reached during the day
  • Name and address of the provider that you are making the complaint about
  • Briefly tell us specifics of your complaint

You can also report a complaint via email: CII Complaints 

How do I make a complaint in writing?

You can make a complaint by mail or fax, but HHS prefers that people submit online via the Texas Unified Licensure Information Portal (TULIP) or call 1-800-458-9858 so we can get all of the information right away to investigate and resolve a complaint.

If you need to send something through the mail or via fax, please send it to:

Texas Health and Human Services
Complaint and Incident Intake
Mail Code E249
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030

Fax for Long-term Care: (877) 438-5827 or (512) 438-2724

Fax for Health Care Regulation: (833) 709-5735 or (512) 206-3985

Please make sure to include:

  • Your name, address and daytime phone number
  • Your relationship to the person on whose behalf you are making a complaint
  • The names of person(s) involved
  • The name and address of the provider
  • Briefly tell us your complaint

Please do not send documents, pictures or video tapes, but let us know if you have them.

Complaints about abortion providers must be submitted in writing.

What information do I need to have when making a complaint?

If possible, please have the following information ready when making a complaint:

  • Your name, mailing address, email and daytime phone number
  • Your relationship to the person on whose behalf you are making the complaint
  • Name and address of the provider that you are making the complaint about.
  • How you became aware of the situation, including if you witnessed the event or if you heard about it from another person
  • The person's name and how he or she was affected. You also will need this information:
    • The level of care or service he or she is supposed to get
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security number
    • How he or she is paying for the service
    • Unit, room or floor number
    • Pertinent medical history
  • Any injuries or negative outcomes affecting the person’s physical or mental well-being
  • Specifics of the complaint including:
    • Date, time and location of the alleged incident
    • The names of witnesses, the alleged perpetrator and anyone else you think may have relevant information
  • Your belief about the scope of the incident – for example, if other people had the same or similar problems

What happens once a complaint is made?

People who file a complaint will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of their complaint. Each complaint is documented in an electronic tracking system. Staff from HHS Regulatory Services will review your complaint to determine if an investigation is warranted. HHS investigates most, but not all, complaints we receive. Those we would not investigate include issues that do not constitute a violation of the regulations or statutes we enforce, issues that occurred over one year ago, complaints intended to willfully harass the facility or provider and complaints we have already investigated. If an investigation occurs, the investigation may include:

  • Observations
  • Record reviews
  • Interviews with the person making the complaint, residents, staff, family members or others

Each intake is prioritized based on content, the immediacy, the risk of the allegation, and the state statutes and federal requirements that HHS enforces. How quickly an investigation is conducted depends in large part on the severity of the allegation. In cases involving a threat of imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm, HHS must investigate within 24 hours for long-term-care providers and within 48 hours for hospitals, home health, hospice, and other non-long term care providers. Maximum timeframes for investigation vary according to provider type.

Medicare-participating healthcare providers are surveyed either by State survey agencies or by Accrediting Organizations to ensure that they meet CMS’ quality and safety standards. Providers can choose to be accredited by an Accrediting Organization. Accreditation by an AO is voluntary and is not required for Medicare certification or participation in the Medicare Program.

If a complaint is filed with HHS against an accredited provider, HHS may forward your complaint to the Accrediting Organization for investigation if deemed necessary. HHS will require your authorization to refer the complaint on your behalf. You also have the option of filing your complaint with an accrediting organization. Click the following link for an AO listing and their contact information: Web List AO Contacts (PDF)

HHS Regulatory Services surveyors contact the person who made the complaint to get any additional information that may be helpful in the investigation. Investigations are unannounced and may be conducted on or off-site. When HHS is done with the investigation, the person who made the complaint is notified of the results either in writing or over the phone.

Will anyone know who made the complaint?

HHS keeps your name and that of the other person confidential, unless required to release it by law. If you choose to remain anonymous, HHS will not be able to provide you the results of the investigation. HHS may also forward your report to another agency if it should be reported to or investigated by that agency.

How can I report a complaint regarding a physician, physician assistant, acupuncturist, surgical assistants, respiratory care practitioners, medical radiologic technologists, medical physicists and perfusionists?

Call the Texas Medical Board at 800-201-9353 or file a complaint online.

How can I report a complaint about an insurance company?

Call the Texas Department of Insurance at 800-252-3439 or file a complaint online.

How can I report a claim of discrimination?

Call 888-388-6332 if you think a Texas HHS employee or contractor has discriminated against you. The Texas Health and Human Services Civil Rights Office handles these complaints.

Where do I complain about being wrongfully terminated by an HHS provider?

Call the Texas Workforce Commission at 800-628-5115 or visit the Texas Workforce Commission website. The agency investigates employee/employer disputes, workplace discrimination, wrongful suspension or termination and paycheck issues.

How Do I Report Suspected HHS Fraud or Misuse of State Resources?

Report suspected waste, fraud or abuse in Texas health and human services programs to the:

  • Texas State Auditor's Office at 800-TX-AUDIT
  • Texas Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General at 800-436-6184

You also can contact these agencies online at:

How Do I Report Suspected Medicare or Medicaid Fraud?

Medicare Fraud: Call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

Medicaid Fraud: Call Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (512) 371-4700.