Investigations

 
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Public Health
 
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What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

​​​The Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health Investigations is responsible for investigating complaints against health care professions and occupations, welfare fraud, and evaluation reviews.

Investigation of licensed, registered or certified health care professionals and professionals in healthcare-related fields; unlicensed healthcare practice; pre-licensure investigations; and compliance with provisions of the Uniform Credentialing Act, rules and regulations governing professional practice, and the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Note: Please contact the Licensure unit for issues/complaints about Nurse Aides (402) 471-0537 and Medication Aides (402) 471-4910.

 

Warning

Due to their confidential nature, complaint allegations should NOT be sent via e-mail.

For investigation information:

Phone: (402) 471-0175
Fax: (402) 471-6238 or (402) 742-8335

Written complaints may be submitted to:

Dennis Scott
DHHS Division of Public Health Investigations
1033 'O' Street, Suite 500
Lincoln NE 68508

Tip

For more information about a profession or occupation and relevant statutes, rules and regulations, Licensing & Regulatory Affairs process, mandatory reporting, and Licensee Assistance Program go to Licensure Unit Page. View all Department statutes, rules and regulations.


 

Overview of the Complaint Process

When your report is received, it will be carefully reviewed by the Department to determine if legal sufficiency exists to conduct an investigation. The law requires the Department to consider:

  • Whether the complaint pertains to a matter within the authority of the department to investigate;
  • Whether the circumstances indicate that the complaint has been filed in good faith and is not malicious, frivolous, or filed merely to annoy;
  • Whether the complaint has been delayed too long to justify a present investigation;
  • Whether the complainant is willing to be a witness and come forward to testify;
  • Whether the information provided in the complaint, or within the complainant's knowledge, is sufficient to provide a reasonable basis to believe that the allegation, if substantiated by clear and convincing evidence, would result in discipline against the licensee; and
  • Whether it is possible to secure necessary evidence from other sources.

The Department will notify you of the results of the review. The Department may also notify the subject of the complaint that a complaint has been filed.

Filing a complaint with the Department does not preclude you from privately pursuing legal remedies.

The Department does not arbitrate fee disputes, insurance or labor problems; does not investigate rudeness or personality conflicts. However, other agencies may be able to assist you if the Department is not able to act on your complaint.

A thorough and complete investigation by the Department will take considerable time and effort. When the department has determined that an investigation is complete, the investigator will prepare an investigative report for the appropriate professional board. After reviewing the report, the professional board will recommend a course of action to the office of the Attorney General.

The Attorney General reviews each investigation to determine if there is clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the complaint has violated statutes or rules and regulations. If there is clear and convincing evidence, the Attorney General may:

  • Elect to file a petition with the Department to discipline the credentialed person;
  • Negotiate a voluntary surrender or voluntary limitation of the credential;
  • Enter into an assurance of compliance with the credentialed person in lieu of filing a petition;

Complaints and mandatory reports to the Department are confidential and investigation records are not public records. The Department will share information contained in complaints and mandatory reports, not including the identity of the complainant or mandatory reporter, with the subject of the complaint or mandatory report only when (1) authorized by the complainant or mandatory reporter, or (2) the Department determines sharing such information is necessary to conduct a proper and thorough investigation. The Department will not share the identity of the complainant or mandatory reporter with the subject of the complaint or mandatory report during the course of an investigation without the written authorization of the complainant or mandatory reporter. The identity of the complainant or mandatory reporter may be made public in a contested case before the Department. Any person making a complaint or mandatory report, except those self-reporting, is immune from criminal or civil liability for filing the report, or for disclosure of documents, records, or other information to the Department.

What Needs to be Reported

What activities must be reported by a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant?
Every credentialed person who has first-hand knowledge of unlicensed, illegal or unethical activities is required to report (includes self-reporting) within 30 days of the occurrence. Failure to report may result in discipline. To view additional information relating to mandatory reporting, click on the options below:

Mandatory Reporting shall not apply:

  • to the spouse of the person,
  • to a practitioner who is providing treatment to such person in a practitioner-patient relationship concerning information obtained or discovered in the course of treatment unless the treating practitioner determines that the condition of the person may be of a nature which constitutes a danger to the public health and safety by the person's continued practice, or
  • when a credentialed person who is chemically impaired enters the Licensee Assistance Program authorized by section Neb. Rev. Stat. § 38-175  except as provided in such section.

How is a complaint reviewed, and what is the disciplinary process?
The following provides information relating to the complaint, investigative, and disciplinary process.