How to File a Grievance

1. What is a grievance?
A grievance is any concern or issue that you may have about the care you receive from your healthcare facility.

2. What do I do if I have a grievance?
First, try to speak with the facility social worker, director of nursing, or administrator about your concern. Your facility should have the steps for its grievance procedure clearly posted. You are encouraged to allow the facility to address the issue first. However, this is not a requirement. The Network will become involved if:
  • You are not comfortable handling the issue at the facility level;
  • You believe your concerns were not resolved at the facility level.

3. What is the Network’s role when addressing patient grievances?
The Network’s role is to serve as an investigator, facilitator, referral agent, coordinator, and/or educator. The purpose of the Network in a grievance is to:
  • Keep communications open between patients and ESRD facility staff on issues, problems or grievances;
  • Ensure problems are solved as quickly as possible;
  • Help patients feel comfortable taking their concerns to an appropriate authority without fear of mistreatment or retaliation; and,
  • Help patients through the grievance process.
The Network CANThe Network CANNOT
Investigate complaints filed by patients in an effort to resolve any issues the patient is having at the dialysis or transplant center.Make a dialysis facility, transplant center or physician admit a patient.
Provide recommendations to the staff and patients on how to improve the concern.Change or become involved in facility or personnel policies and procedures.
Advocate for patient rights.Make a facility fire or transfer a physician or staff member.
Refer complaints to another agency, such as the State Survey Agency.Override State or Federal Licensing/certification requirements.

4. Are there different types of grievances?
When a grievance is filed with the Network, it will be handled one of two ways: Immediate Advocacy or Quality of Care Review. The table below provides the definitions and timeframes of these two grievance types.
Grievance TypeDefinitionTimeframe
Immediate AdvocacyThis is a dispute resolution process in which the Network is able to quickly resolve a grievance by making direct contact with the involved facility and/or practitioner(s).

The Network and facility will work together in order to find a resolution that is suitable for both the facility and the patient. With immediate advocacy, the Network will use your name when talking with the facility.
Immediate advocacy cases are completed within 2 business days.
Quality of Care ReviewThis is a review conducted by the Network in response to a grievance alleging that patient rights were violated.

In these cases, medical records are requested, staff and patients may be interviewed, and other provider records may be reviewed.
Quality of care review investigations are completed within 60 days.

5. How do I contact my local Network?
Network 6Network 8Network 14
Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
(800) 524-7139
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee
(877) 936-9260
Texas
(877) 886-4435