Q: How do I file a complaint against an EMS provider or certified/licensed person in the state of Texas?
A: There are several ways in which a complaint can be filed with the state. The first way is through our toll-free number that we have just for EMS complaints: (800) 452-6086. The number is available 24 hours a day and has a voice mail system to answer calls after business hours. The second way that you can file a complaint is by writing a letter. Mail your letter to: Texas Department of State Health Services, ATTN: EMS Complaints, 1100 W. 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756. Finally, you may file a complaint through email.
Q: What information does DSHS need to pursue a complaint?
A: We need specific information about a particular incident. It is important that we get dates, times, locations, unit numbers, personnel names and other pertinent information. We have to have leads to go on when we conduct an investigation. We get numerous complaints on the 1-800 line that say, “Ambulance Service XYZ…. is bad.” We cannot look into this service based on that kind of information. We need to have specifics on our complaints.
Q: Can I remain anonymous if I file a complaint?
A: Yes. You do not have to give us your name when filing a complaint. However, if you do wish to remain anonymous, we need to have the most detailed information that you can provide. Once you decide to remain anonymous, we have no way of contacting you again to get additional information. Without good solid information, the complaint could go nowhere.
Q: If I give my name, is there anyway that the person or entities that I filed a complaint against find out who filed the complaint?
A: We keep all of the case information confidential. The only way that your name might come out is if the case goes to a hearing or criminal proceeding. The person or entity (respondent) that has a complaint filed and an administrative action proposed by DSHS has a right to an administrative hearing. Once at the hearing, the respondent has a right to request the information in the case file through a legal process called discovery.