a patient and a consumer, there may be times when you're dissatisfied with the care
you are receiving—whether by a personal physician, hospital, or your own health
plan. It's important to try to resolve a problem, particularly when it affects your
health. Depending on your issue, there are many independent organizations that can
assist in difficult situations.
The San Francisco Medical Society can assist in mediating disputes between patients
and individual physicians. The Professional Relations & Ethics Committee of
the San Francisco Medical Society serves the public by mediating complaints between
patients and their physicians.
If you are experiencing difficulties concerning medical care or are experiencing
ethical issues with a San Francisco physician (MD/DO only), please contact Steve
Heilig at (415) 561-0850 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complaint must be filed in writing. We will send you a complaint form to fill
you can print one out here; either will require your signature for release of
medical information pertinent to your complaint. The physician will be notified
of your complaint. Our Professional Relations & Ethics Committee will then review
your complaint and inform you in writing of its recommendations.
Please note: This is a confidential, peer-review advisory process; disciplinary
action can only be taken by the Medical Board of California (MBC). To file a complaint
with the MBC, call (800) 633-2322. You can also visit its website at
for additional information.
The Department of Health Services licenses hospitals and nursing homes. Call
the licensing division at (916) 445-2070 to verify that a facility is licensed.
In addition, the department accepts complaints against facilities. To file a complaint,
contact the DHS field office in the county where the facility is located. For sites
in San Francisco, contact the Daly City field office at (415) 301-9971.
If you are having a problem with your insurance carrier or HMO, first write a
letter to the health plan about your problem. If there is no response, you should
then proceed with the plan's formal internal dispute process. If you then do not
get resolution, and depending on what type of health insurance you have, there are
two state agencies with which you can file a complaint against your health plan:
Department of Insurance (oversees traditional health insurance providers)
45 Fremont Street, 23rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Department of Managed Health Care (regulates HMOs)
(888) 466-2219 (toll free)
(877) 688-9891 TDD
(916) 229-0465 FAX
HMO Help Center
980 Ninth St., Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814-2725