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Before You Submit a Complaint

HHS-OIG’s Hotline reviews and investigates thousands of complaints each year. Before you begin, make sure you understand the type of complaints we do and do not address.

Complaints we investigate include:

Complaints not addressed through the OIG Hotline include:

Complaint Who to Contact

Issues about Medicare policy, coverage, billing claims or appeals

Lost or stolen Medicare card

Medicare.gov
1-800-MEDICARE

Allegations by HHS employees of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference

Your agency's Equal Employment Opportunity officer

Allegations by employees or applicants concerning prohibited personnel practices; or Hatch Act violations

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

Appeals of administrative decisions made by HHS agencies, grantees or contractors, including Medicare payment decisions and contract or grant awards

Consult the guidelines for the particular program

Appeals of judicial decisions by federal or state courts involving HHS programs

Please contact the court that issued the decision

Complaints of failure to safeguard medical information, i.e. HIPAA violations

HHS Office for Civil Rights

Customer service complaints involving HHS employees, grantees or contractors

Management of the relevant agency

Fraud relating to Social Security

Social Security Administration OIG

Allegations of identity theft unrelated to HHS programs

Federal Trade Commission

Disability fraud

Social Security Administration OIG

SNAP/Food Stamp Fraud

USDA OIG

Self-Disclosures

Self-Disclosure information

What You Need for Your Complaint

Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much information as possible about the allegation and those involved. The more you tell us, the better chance we have of determining whether an investigation can be pursued. Before you begin, make sure you have the following information available:

Important

If your purpose in filing a complaint is to gain some type of relief—such as obtaining a refund from a Medicare-participating provider or qualifying for benefits from an HHS-funded program—we strongly advise that you pursue other administrative or judicial remedies. OIG rarely intervenes in personal or civil grievances.

Privacy Safeguards

OIG Hotline Operations complaints are official records covered by the Privacy Act. OIG Hotline Operations complaint referrals are provided to non-OIG offices for review and response on an official-need-to-know basis only, and must not be released to the subjects of complaints. Although additional information may be received during the course of a complaint, such items are part of the OIG Hotline file and its release is subject to OIG approval.

What to Expect After Submitting Your Complaint

An OIG analyst will review your complaint for relevance and completeness. Not all complaints result in an investigation.

If you have identified yourself, a reviewing official may contact you for further information. However, if you are not contacted it does not mean your complaint is not being investigated.

Important

The Hotline will not be able to confirm receipt of your complaint or respond to any inquiries about action taken on your complaint. We understand the natural inclination to follow up on a report but OIG does not provide the status of complaints.

You have the option, however, of requesting records through the OIG Freedom of Information Act officer. Remember to phrase your request in terms of a search for records pertinent to your complaint, not status. You should wait at least six months before filing such a request.

Appealing an OIG Hotline Operations Complaint Decision

There are no appeal rights to a decision by OIG Hotline Operations as to the actions taken on a particular complaint. OIG Hotline Operations is not a statutory entity, court, or other administrative body. The IG Act gives the Inspector General sole discretion regarding the processing and investigation of hotline complaints.

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