NYS TBI Waiver complaints: the fix is in

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.

 

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3 thoughts on “NYS TBI Waiver complaints: the fix is in

  1. There are no outcomes in reference to complaints because NYS DOH TBI waiver never files complaints!The Waiver ran two very experienced (10+yrs of working in the waiver) counselors due to the fact that the counselors were more intelligent than they, and the counselors additionally revealed the truth about the ILST's and aids who work in the program were stealing controlled substances from head injured individuals. They also revealed that brain injured clients were receiving repercussions the more they told the counselors. Repercussions such as refusing to approve the counselor's section of the plans, hence, denying the waiver participant continuing counseling.Other clients had a service coordinator drink alcohol on several occasions with various head injured clients. She was "punished" for three weeks, then allowed back to work. Then contacted the clients she drank with (repercussions) and was swearing at him for telling on her.(Keep in mind….the two counselors still to this day nearly two years later, what they did so wrong?)Another situation is that everyone paying into the Medicaid system may as well be aware of just much medicaid fraud has been reported, but additionally ignored.For example, in another waiver participants home, the husband has the aids (HCSS) do his gardening, cleaning, etc. for HIM, and his wife with the brain injury should be integrating into the community with the HCSS working with her…correct? This is a form of Medicaid fraud!This same agency has a former employee that is in the NYS TBI Waiver Program RRDC! Although he had been informed of this and other incidences, he is approving the abuse, fraud, and so on.Another participant who could barely tell you his name was kicked, had his Ambien stolen (controlled substance), and left outside in his wheel chair for hours by the same ILST who was stealing medications from another participants home! DOH, again, said the counselors were "stirring up too much trouble" and, "they think they know it all."Come to find out, the counselors additionally found out that what professional records/plans they were submitting, electronically, were being "altered" and not what they had written. These counselors have professional licenses! The counselors were not allowed to contact any of their participants, and to this day, never knew why, let alone see any written report. This is because they did nothing, and were driven out of their jobs. At Christmas time a participant contacted her counselor and left a message she was having a difficult time dealing with the death of her sister, who burned in a fire one month prior to Christmas. The counselor did not dare contact her for fear she would loose her job, and ended up doing as she was instructed by NYS DOH Waiver only to loose her job anyway! A book could be written about the fraud within this program. Everything from stealing to abuse and everything in between. Nothing will ever be done to better the lives and to protect them. This program is way too political.

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