DMHAS: Client Rights & Grievances

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Client Rights and Grievance Specialist
 
William Pierce, 860-418-6933, william.pierce@ct.gov
TTY: (toll free) 888-621-3551 (or Relay711); Confidential Fax: 860-418-6691
Address:  DMHAS Office of the Commissioner
410 Capitol Avenue, 4th Floor  PO Box 341431  Hartford, CT 06134
The Client Rights and Grievance Specialist helps to resolve complaints in a timely and non-adversarial manner by promoting the use of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) Client Grievance Procedure.  

The DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure is a written process where a client (or person authorized to act on behalf of a client) of a DMHAS facility and/or contracted service provider submits a written complaint that the facility, program or provider that services were denied, involuntary reduced or involuntary terminated services or a written complaint the writer believes a provider or provider’s staff:
i.  Violated rights provided by law or DMHAS directive
ii.  Treated the client in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner
iii.  Failed to provide services authorized by a treatment plan
iv.  Used coercion to improperly limit choice
v.  Failed to reasonably intervene when the client’s rights were put at risk by another
client or patient in a setting controlled by the provider
vi.  Failed to treat the client or patient in a humane and dignified manner 
Under the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure:
1. Written grievances are submitted to the provider’s Clients Rights Officer (CRO)  or designee within 45 calendar days of an action or complaint, unless they are an Accelerated Grievance (see the box below).
2. Once the Client Rights Officer or designee receives a grievance s/he works with the person (and advocate if the person has one) to propose an Informal Resolution.
3. If an Informal Resolution is not possible or if the person disagrees with the proposal, the CRO presents the grievance to the provider or facility’s Executive Official or designee for further review. 
4. During the Executive Official or designee’s review, the person submitting the grievance can provide additional information and may be asked to meet the Executive Official or designee.  The Executive Official or Designee then issues a written Formal Decision. 

DMHAS facilities and contracted providers have twenty-one (21) Calendar Days under the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure to address a grievance unless an extra fifteen (15) Calendar Days is authorized for good cause unless the grievance is an Accelerated Grievance.

Accelerated Grievance:  A client or patient of a DMHAS facility or contracted provider whose Opioid Substitution Therapy has been involuntarily reduced or involuntarily terminated or who has been involuntarily terminated from an inpatient substance use disorder treatment program of 30-days or less can submit an Accelerated Grievance to the provider no later than 5-business days of receiving notice of the action and to receive a Formal Decision within 5-business

 
 
5. If the person disagrees with the provider’s Formal Decision, s/he can submit a written request for a Commissioner’s Review to the DMHAS Commissioner’s Office within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the Formal Decision.  This request should be sent by mail or fax to the DMHAS Office of the Commissioner 410 Capitol Avenue, 4th Floor  PO Box 341431  Hartford, CT 06134  (Fax: 1-860-418-6691)

The DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure complies with Regulations of State Agencies for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on Fair Hearings §§17a-451(t)1-(20):

The DMHAS Client Grievance does not cover:  client to client complaints; complaints about entities that are not contracted by DMHAS or which do not provide direct mental health or substance use disorder services; matters within the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board and allegations of a DMHAS work rule, provider personnel policy, criminal statute violation (those allegations are referred to the appropriate authority).    


For more information on the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure select from the links below:   
List of Client Rights Officers and designees (DMHAS and Contracted Providers): 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
Under the ADA the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is a Title II entity which provides equal access and effective communication to persons with disabilities.  Complaints from clients, patients are covered by the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure.  Complaints from guests of a DMHAS facility or program who are persons with disabilities should contact the DMHAS Client Rights and Grievance Specialist. 

Employees of DMHAS are covered under ADA Title I and should contact the DMHAS Affirmative Action Office if they have questions about the ADA.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557:
Under the ACA Section 1557, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is prohibited from discriminating against someone on the basis of race, national origin, age, disability or sex (individuals may have other protections under Connecticut State Statute) and is required to provide equal access to programs and services to people whose primary language is not English. Complaints from clients, patients are covered by the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure. 
DMHAS “Your Rights As Client or Patient” (Client/Patient Bill of Rights):
Clients and Patients of DMHAS operated facilities and contracted providers have the same rights as all other adult Connecticut residents.  They are entitled to be treated in a humane and dignified way at all times with full respect to: Personal Dignity, Rights to Privacy, Right to Personal Property and Civil Rights.  They have the right to complain without retaliation by staff or program.  A list of rights identified under state statute can be found in “Your Rights as a Client or Patient” (“Patient Bill of Rights”) as well as other sources. 
Statewide Advocacy Programs:
Everyone has the right to help from an advocate, even if the person has a conservator and there are three statewide advocacy programs including:  
The DMHAS Client Rights and Grievance Specialist, works to help DMHAS be a recovery oriented system of care which promotes the rights of clients of DMHAS facilities, programs and contracted providers by:
  • Encouraging the use of the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure as a means of helping clients and providers resolve complaints in a non-adversarial manner
  • Conducting “Commissioner Reviews” of grievances as requested by clients who are not satisfied with a provider’s Formal Decision.
  • Providing information and resources on the DMHAS Client Grievance Procedure and rights.
  • Maintaining a state-wide list of Clients Rights Officers for facilities and operated by the DMHAS and contracted providers.
  • Training Client Rights Officers and other groups.
  • Acting as the ADA Title II Coordinator for DMHAS facilities and programs.
The Client Rights and Grievance Specialist works under the direction of Michael Michaud (michael.michaud@ct.gov), Chief of Staff for the DMHAS Office of the Commissioner and the Commissioner’s designee for responding to grievance review requests.  Marilyn Duran, Administrative Assistant: 860-418-6646.





Content Last Modified on 5/4/2017 1:03:49 PM