HI 00208.060 DO Handling—Complaints of Discrimination
Although public or beneficiary complaints of provider discrimination may be filed directly with OCR, they may also be filed with the DO. Complaints of provider discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin received in the DO should be routed to the RO of OCR at the address indicated in HI 00208.060C. Under no circumstances should complaints not related to discrimination under title VI be forwarded to OCR. If more than one type of complaint against the same provider is involved, only the one relating to provider discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin should be forwarded to OCR.
A. Confidentiality of identity of individual filing complaint
CMS and SSA should protect the identity of individuals filing complaints of discrimination and of instructions against which charges are made. Should an individual be reluctant to reveal his identity, accept an annonymous complaint. DO’s should keep in mind that disclosure of identity of a person filing a charge of discrimination could result in his economic or even personal harm. Similarly, the reputation of a provider could be unjustly impaired by disclosure that a complaint had been filed against it.
B. Information to be obtained about complaint
The following basic information should be obtained and recorded on an SSA-5002, Report of Contact:
The name and address of the facility where the incident occurred;
The date the incident occurred;
The basis for the complaint (race, color, or national origin);
The services or facilities about which the complaint is being made (admissions, bed assignment, dual standards for the cost of medical service, dual standards in assignments to or use of hospital facilities, visiting privileges, etc.) including a complete narrative description concerning the nature of the practices alleged to be discriminatory. When possible, names and titles of persons involved should be given.
The name, address, and telephone number, if any, of the complainant. This information may be needed to contact the person for more information and to notify the person of the results of the investigation. If the complainant appears to be reluctant to identify himself explain that the information will be kept confidential and will not be released to anyone without his consent. If he refuses to give this information, accept the complaint and indicate that the complainant prefers to remain anonymous.
If a complaint has been made to the provider or the State health or welfare department, indicate to whom the complaint was made, the date, and the outcome if known.
C. Routing of complaint
A single copy of the complaint should be routed directly to the Regional Director for OCR, DHHS, who has jurisdiction for the region in which the provider is located.
The envelope should bear the legend “Confidential-Administrative Mail.” and be addressed to the “Regional OCR Director, Department of Health and Human Services,” at the addresses shown below:
|DHHS Region I||-||John Fitzgerald Kennedy|
| || ||Federal Building|
| || ||Boston, MA 02203|
|DHHS Region II||-||26 Federal Plaza|
| || ||New York, NY 10007|
|DHHS Region III||-||PO Box 12840|
| || ||Philadelphia, PA, 19108|
|DHHS Region IV||-||50 Seventh St NE|
| || ||Atlanta, GA 30323|
|DHHS Region V||-||200 S Wacker Dr|
| || ||Chicago, IL 60606|
|DHHS Region VI||-||1114 Commerce St|
| || ||Dallas, TX 75202|
|DHHS Region VII||-||601 East 12 St|
| || ||Kansas City, MO 64106|
|DHHS Region VIII||-||721 19 St.|
| || ||Denver, CO 80202|
|DHHS Region IX||-||50 Fulton St.|
| || ||San Francisco, CA 94102|
|DHHS Region X||-||Arcade Plaza Bldg.|
| || ||Seattle, WA 98101|
D. Instructions for individuals who wish to follow up a complaint
When an individual files a complaint, he should be informed that it will be forwarded to OCR which will acknowledge receipt and after investigation, notify him of the outcome. The processing time of such complaints varies, so advise the individual that further contacts regarding the matter should be made with OCR at the address shown in HI 00208.060C.