If you are on the NYS Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver and you file a complaint with the NYS Department of Health you will never be told the outcome. The DOH has it fixed so they don’t have to tell you. Their complaint line agreement with the Brain Injury Association of NYS does not require them too to tell you. More moral and ethical corruption from the state’s leading renegade agency which makes a laughing stock of the new governor and the new DOH commissioner.
If you are one of the nearly 3,000 New York adults on the waiver you are told to call the waiver complaint line fielded by the Brain Injury Association of NYS. BIANYS staff will always treat you with respect and compassion. However, that might be the end of your respect and compassion experience unless of course someone from the RRDC’s (Regional Resource Development Center’s) office calls you to ask about your complaint and there too, you might, though not always, get treated with compassion. RRDCs across the state are contracted with DOH to oversee waiver providers and participants in their respective regions.
After your talk with someone from the RRDC’s office (there are many instances where you don’t even get that much attention), all compassion and respect stops. You will never learn the outcome of your complaint. Several sources around the state have told this writer that the DOH makes it clear they want the complaints minimized if not ignored and abandoned altogether.
This is ethical corruption pure and simple and it needs to stop. Groups like the TBISCC, BIANYS and DOH need to address this as soon as possible.
The following is the actual complaint line protocol:
TBI Complaint Line Protocol – Updated 1/2010
1. BIANYS conducts complaint intake and completes the BIANYS portion of the complaint form.
2. BIANYS emails complaint to DOH TBI Waiver Program.
3. DOH staff emails the complaint intake form to RRDCs. (If determined a Serious Reportable Incident, DOH staff contacts RRDS immediately by phone and check the appropriate SRI box on the form. DOH staff will follow up by emailing the complaint intake form to RRDS.) In those instances where the complaint is directed at the RRDC, DOH assumes responsibility to investigate.
4. RRDC confirms receipt of the complaint with DOH.
5. RRDC staff contacts the participant within two business days that the complaint has been received and investigation is in process.
6. RRDS investigates the complaint and completes the RRDS portion of the complaint form.
7. RRDS returns the completed form back to DOH within 30 days.
8. BIANYS will be notified when the complaint is closed via email.
9. BIANYS will provide DOH a monthly report of complaints.
10. DOH waiver staff meets monthly to review open complaints & discuss outstanding issues.
Essential Elements of RRDC Investigation
a) Provide a brief description/summary of the complaint.
b) Provide pertinent demographic information of the participant and any other people related to the complaint.
c) Provide a summary of all completed interviews or statements of fact.
d) Provide a summary of documents and any evidence reviewed.
e) Provide a description of your findings and analysis of the event.
f) Describe all corrective actions taken.
g) Describe the current status of the complaint and/or participant and any conclusions indicated by the investigation. The Complaint Form must indicate the final status and disposition of the complaint e.g. allegation/complaint confirmed/substantiated, allegation disconfirmed
h) Complaints are to be maintained in a regional and DOH database and reviewed on an annual basis to establish trends, patterns and systemic issues.