Complaints can be lodged with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals about several different topics. Please review the topics below to link to the appropriate area.
The Administrative Hearings Division and its administrative law judges strive to fairly and impartially decide cases, consistent with the law and in an efficient and professional manner. The conduct of administrative law judges is governed by the relevant legal provisions applicable to the case and the Code of Administrative Judicial Conduct. If you have a complaint with the conduct of an administrative law judge, you may make a complaint by completing the online form or by submitting a written complaint.
Please note that if you disagree with the decision in your case and wish to contest that outcome, you must file a prompt appeal consistent with the instructions in that decision or its cover letter and the governing law. Filing a complaint against the administrative law judge does not appeal your decision.
If you've witnessed a possible food code violation or basic hygiene issue at a hotel, restaurant, bar, or other food business, please file a complaint to express your concerns. Complainant information is kept confidential according to Iowa law.
Iowa’s Rapid Response team investigates reported incidents of food code violations and food poisoning to prevent the spread of suspected and confirmed foodborne illness. DIA’s management of up-to-date restaurant inspections, education about food safety for food-related businesses, and teams of food safety professionals work together to keep Iowa’s food supply safe for consumption, from restaurants to grocery stores.
Report food poisoning
Have you or a group of family or friends recently experienced an illness that you believe may be the result of consuming compromised food in Iowa? Call the IowaSic hotline to connect with your local health department to report possible food poisoning. Call 1.844.IowaSic (1.844.469.2742).
Complaints about a facility regulated by the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing, a staff member of one of these facilities, and/or specific instances of dependent adult abuse in an Iowa health facility or program. Complainant information is kept confidential according to Iowa law.
You can look up survey (inspection) reports and other information about one of these facilities or programs on the Health Facilities database.
Facilities that DIAL oversees are:
- Adult Day Services
- Assisted Living Programs
- Boarding Homes
- Community Mental Health Centers
- Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities
- Elder Group Homes
- End-Stage Renal Disease Programs (e.g. Kidney Dialysis centers)
- Health Care Employment Agencies
- Home Health Care Agencies
- Intermediate Care Facilities
- Nursing/Skilled Nursing Facilities (e.g. Nursing Homes or Long-Term Care centers)
- Organ Procurement Organizations
- Outpatient Physical Therapy & Speech Therapy facilities
- Portable X-Ray Services
- Psychiatric Medical Institutions for Children
- Rehabilitation Facilities
- Residential Care Facilities
- Rural Health Clinics
- Subacute Mental Health Facilities
- Transplant Centers
File a complaint about a health or medical industry professional licensed by DIAL.
Dentists, Dental Assistants, and Dental Hygienists
The Iowa Dental Board investigates complaints filed against dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. If the board finds that the licensee has violated state law, it may take action against the individual’s license. Click here for an overview of the process.
Anyone can file a complaint, including patients, family members, insurance companies, and others. The board identifies each of these reports as a “complaint."
Complete the online complaint form for dental professionals.
Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
Iowa law allows the investigation of licensed nurses (RN, LPN, or ARNP) for alleged wrongful behavior and grants authority to invoke appropriate disciplinary action. Click here for more information about the process. Violations of ethical or professional standards may include:
- Abusive behavior (physical or verbal)
- Breach of confidentiality issues
- Criminal convictions (misdemeanors or felonies)
- Scope of practice
- Boundary issues, including sexual misconduct
- Substance abuse
- Audit failure
- Nurse licensure compact violation
- Practicing without valid license
If your complaint contains allegations that are not a violation of board rules, the board cannot act. If the allegations appear to violate the rules, your complaint will be processed according to the board's procedures.
- Complaints by patients, law enforcement, or other entities
- Authorization for Release of Medical Information (by patient)
- Self-Report form for nurses
- Employer Complaint Form
Pharmacists, Interns, Technicians, Support Persons, & Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Registrations
The Iowa Board of Pharmacy investigates complaints received related to alleged violations of Iowa law and administrative rules related to the practice of pharmacy and the distribution of drugs in Iowa.
Complete the online complaint form for the Iowa Board of Pharmacy.
Physicians, Acupuncturists, and Genetic Counselors
The department does not have the authority to get involved in some matters, such as complaints involving insurance companies. The department and the Board of Medicine cannot be involved in suing a licensee for damages or settling disputes over billing or disability ratings.
If the department and the Board of Medicine find that a practitioner has violated state law or the board’s administrative rules, it may take action against the practitioner’s license to practice in Iowa. Disciplinary procedures are located in 653 Iowa Administrative Code, chapters 23-26.
Complete the online complaint form for physicians, acupuncturists, or genetic counselors. You may request a PDF of the complaint form for the Board of Medicine by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Medical Industry Professions
If you have a complaint about a profession that used to be under the purview of the Bureau of Professional Licensure, formerly a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint, complete the online contact form. Those professions are:
- Athletic Trainers
- Funeral Directors
- Hearing Aid Specialists
- Speech Pathologists & Audiologists
- Mental & Behavioral Health Professionals
- Massage Therapists
- Physical & Occupational Therapists
- Physician Assistants
- Respiratory Care & Polysomnography Professionals
Note: Complaints related to the practice of acupuncture or genetic counseling should be filed with the Iowa Board of Medicine. The online complaint form for the Board of Medicine is available here.
Public Assistance (e.g., SNAP, FIP) or Medicaid Provider Fraud. File a complaint about someone abusing their public assistance benefits, using benefits that do not apply to them, or a provider (e.g., doctors, clinics, hospitals, etc.) committing Medicaid fraud.
Social/Charitable Gambling or Amusement Device or Concession. Report a violation of the rules surrounding social and charitable gambling licenses or amusement devices or amusement concessions.
Professions Formerly Under the Purview of the Department of Commerce
If you have a complaint about a profession that used to be under the purview of the Department of Commerce (Division of Banking/Professional Licensure Bureau) please complete the PLB online contact form. Those professions are:
- Engineers and Land Surveyors
- Interior Designers
- Landscape Architects
- Real Estate Agents and Brokers
- Real Estate Appraisers
- Appraisal Management Companies
Professions Formerly Under the Purview of HHS
If you have a complaint about a non-medical profession that used to be under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services' Bureau of Professional Licensure) please complete the online contact form. Those professions are:
- Sign Language Interpreters & Transliterators
- Social Workers