The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will investigate some complaints against health facilities in the state, but which ones?

Getting the best healthcare possible is a high priority, whether it's for ourselves or for a loved one. It's possible that most health care facilities in Colorado are doing a good job of taking care of us, however, it's also just as likely there are some that are falling short.

Fortunately, there is something you can do if you feel that the health care you or a loved one has received  has been compromised. Filing a complaint with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is something that anybody can do whether you are a patient, family member, or even a healthcare professional.

There are very specific complaints the state will and will not investigate.

For all types of facilities, the state will investigate complaints about the quality of care, patient or resident rights, and building and equipment safety.

If it's an acute or primary care facility such as a hospital, they will conduct an investigation if you are unable to get an itemized bill. For hospitals specifically, they'll investigate it if you don't receive "clear information on financial assistance and payment plan options." They'll also investigate if you are uninsured or below the poverty level and you don't receive a discount.

Typically, the state won't investigate incorrect billing unless it pertains to someone who is low-income or uninsured.

Anyone can file a complaint, and it's even possible to do it anonymously.

The investigation may reveal a verifiable allegation which will result in the facility receiving a notice of "deficient practice" requiring a correction of the violation. It's also possible that the allegation cannot be verified and confirmed, resulting in no action being taken.

Complaints can be filed on line with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The process doesn't guarantee that every little thing is going to be perfect when it comes to health care, but it does provide an avenue for recourse on those occasions where serious deficiencies have been demonstrated.

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