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How do I make a complaint (general public)?

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when someone reports to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) that they think a licensed or certified provider 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, by email or in writing.

Consumer Rights and Services takes complaints about the care, treatment or services received by people who live in:

They also take complaints about people or companies that provide the following services:

After a complaint is received, Regulatory Services conducts an on-site investigation according to state and federal rules and regulations. Investigations are unannounced. An investigation may consist of:

  • observations,
  • records reviews, and
  • interviews with the person making the complaint, residents, staff, family members or others. 

When the investigation is done, Regulatory Services notifies the person who made the complaint of their findings. This is done in writing or over the phone.

What is a self-reported incident?

Providers who are licensed or certified by DADS must notify the agency if someone in their care has been or may be physically or mentally abused, neglected or exploited.

Providers may be required to report other incidents according to their reporting guidelines or DADS rules. These include:

  • deaths,
  • misappropriation of funds,
  • drug diversions,
  • missing persons,
  • injuries of unknown source,
  • fires, or
  • situations that pose a threat to a person receiving care, staff or the public. This includes when police or the local fire authority were notified or summoned to maintain safety.

Click here if you are a DADS provider who needs to self-report an incident.

How can I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint in one of these ways:

By phone

Call toll-free 1-800-458-9858. Effective Jan. 2, 2012, Consumer Rights and Services will pilot an expansion of Call Center Hours. Agents will be available to take live calls Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The pilot will conclude on or before June 30, 2012. After selecting your language, select option 2 to report a complaint.

Then select :

  • Option 1 to report a complaint about a home health or hospice agency
  • Option 2 to report a complaint about a nursing home
  • Option 3 to report a complaint about an assisted living or adult day care facility
  • Option 4 to report a complaint about a HCS or Texas Home Living Program provider
  • Option 5 to report a complaint about a state supported living center or ICF/ID.

When leaving a voice mail, please:

  • state and spell your name;
  • provide a daytime phone number, with area code; and
  • leave a brief message.

Email

You can email complaints to CRSComplaints@dads.state.tx.us. Please make sure to include:

  • your name, address and daytime phone number;
  • your relationship to the person;
  • the names of person(s) involved;
  • name and address of the facility, home health agency, hospice or DADS program provider; and
  • brief narrative of your complaint.

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

In writing

Complaints may be sent by mail or fax; however, DADS prefers that people call so we can get all the information right away to investigate and resolve a complaint.

To contact Consumer Rights and Services by mail or fax:

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Consumer Rights and Services — Complaint Intake Unit
Mail Code E-249
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, TX 78714-9030
Fax: 512-438-2724 or 512-438-2722

Please make sure to include:

  • your name, address and daytime phone number;
  • your relationship to the the person;
  • the names of person(s) involved;
  • name and address of the facility, home health agency, hospice or DADS program provider; and
  • brief narrative of your complaint.

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

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, address and daytime phone number.
  • Your relationship to the person on whose behalf you are making the complaint.
  • Name and address of the facility, home health agency or hospice agency that the complaint is against.
  • How you became aware of the complaint, 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 will also 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; and
    • pertinent medical history.
  • Any injuries or negative outcomes affecting his or her physical or mental well-being.
  • Specifics of the complaint including
    • date, time and location of the alleged incident; and
    • 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 have any other consumers had the same or similar problems?

Is the identity of the person making the complaint kept confidential?

Yes. DADS keeps your name and that of the consumer confidential unless required to release it by law. However, if you choose to remain anonymous, DADS has no way to let you know the results of the investigation.

What other kinds of information can I get by calling the toll-free number?

From the main menu:

  • Select option 3 for information about services for persons with intellectual disabilities, including the HCS or Texas Home Living waiver programs or community centers.
  • Select option 4 for information about DADS programs or long-term care services.
  • Select option 6 to request copies of survey documents (which include investigations of complaints) or literature (such as directories, regulations or publications). 

Click here for more information about to how to request information under the Open Records provision (Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code).

Where do I report complaints about a non-DADS facility, agency or provider?

Please click here to learn more.

How can I report a complaint regarding wrongful termination by a DADS regulated provider?

Call 1-800-832-2829. The Texas Workforce Commission investigates employee/employer disputes, discrimination in the workplace, wrongful suspension and/or termination and paycheck issues. 

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Updated: June 30, 2014