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Licensing and Certification Program

How to File a Complaint or Report Misconduct/Abuse               

The information on this page pertains to complaints or misconduct/abuse reports against nursing home administrators (NHAs), certified nurse assistants (CNAs), home health aides (HHAs), and certified hemodialysis technicians (CHTs).

What is within the investigative authority of the Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Program, Professional Certification Branch?

Complaints/reports of unprofessional conduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Fraud
  • Theft/embezzlement
  • Working on an expired certificate/license
  • Failure to report unprofessional conduct

What information do I need to provide to file a complaint/report?                                               

Please complete and submit the Complaint Form (CDPH 318). You may also write a complaint by providing the following, if known:

  • Name, address, and telephone number of the subject of complaint
  • Facility/Employer name and address of the subject of complaint
    • If different, name and address of incident location
  • Date, time, and details of the allegation, including names and witnesses and victims involved
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the reporting party/complainant

How do I file a complaint/report misconduct or abuse?

To file a complaint against Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Aide (HHAs), and Certified Hemodialysis Technicians (CHTs), complete and submit the Complaint Form (CDPH 318):

​Phone

​Mail

​Email: cnamisconduct@cdph.ca.gov
Message Center: (916) 492-8232
(calls returned by next business day)
Main Line: (916) 445-4423
Fax: (916) 552-8788
​Professional Certification Branch/
Investigation Section
P.O. Box 997416, MS 3303
Sacramento, CA 95889-7416

 

To file a complaint against Nursing Home Administrators (NHAs):

​Phone

​Mail

​Email: NHAP@cdph.ca.gov
Main: (916) 552-8780
Fax: (916) 552-8777

​Professional Certification Branch/
NHAP Complaints
P.O. Box 997416, MS 3302
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416

Can I file an anonymous complaint/report?

Yes, however, complaints that do not include the name of the person involved are difficult to investigate.  It is important to provide specific details, including dates and times, list of witnesses or contacts, as well as any documentary evidence.  If a complainant “confidentially” provides his or her name, address or telephone number, the Department cannot guarantee anonymity if the case goes to hearing.

How will my complaint/report be processed?

 Complaint Process Flowchart

Can I check on the status of my complaint/report?

In order to ensure that the success of the investigation is not jeopardized, staff cannot discuss details or give status updates on complaints pending investigation.  Complaints are confidential and are not public record.

How long is the investigative process?

This depends on the complexity of a complaint and the type of review necessary to address the allegation.  It also depends on whether a complaint is substantiated.

Who is a “mandated reporter” and what does that mean? 

California law states: “Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, whether or not he or she receives compensation, including administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care or services for elder or dependent adults, or any elder or dependent adult care custodian, health practitioner, clergy member, or employee of a county adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency, is a mandated reporter.” (Welfare & Institutions Code, section 15630)
A “care custodian” is defined as an administrator or an employee of a public or private agency who provides care for elders and dependent adults as part of his or her official duties, including support and maintenance staff.  Therefore, all health practitioners and all employees in a long-term health care facility are mandated reporters.

Are there penalties if I am a mandated reporter who does not report or report timely? 

Yes. Under California law, mandated reporters who fail to report known or suspected instances of abuse, neglect, misappropriation, unprofessional conduct, etc. are guilty of a crime. Failure to report physical abuse, abandonment, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect of an elder or dependent adult is a misdemeanor, punishable by not more than six (6) months in county jail or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both a fine and imprisonment; AND any mandated reporter who willfully fails to report physical abuse, abandonment, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect of an elder or dependent adult, where that abuse results in death or great bodily injury, is punishable by not more than one year in a county jail or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both a fine and imprisonment. Action may also be taken against the mandated reporter’s license or certification for failing to timely report an incident. If you have doubts or concerns, it is best to file a report. There is no penalty for filing a report.

How do I file a complaint against a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse?

Complaints involving registered nurses or licensed vocational nurses, and not a CNA/HHA/CHT or nursing home administrator should be reported to the Department of Consumer Affairs or call (800) 952-5210.

How do I file a complaint about a residential care facility?

If the complaint or report is related to a residential care facility, it should be reported to the Department of Social Services or call (844) 538-8766.

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