APN recognizes there will be times when clients would like to submit a grievance or complaint to be evaluated and addressed. APN will investigate grievances transparently and formally processing them as appropriate.
To provide a structure and process whereby clients can file grievances and have them officially considered, evaluated, and addressed without fear of retribution. A “grievance” means any expression of dissatisfaction about any matter related to provided services.
A client may submit a grievance (written or verbal) to any member of the APN staff. It shall be the responsibility of that staff member to activate the grievance process as described below. In the event of an emergency, the staff member shall take the legal and reasonable steps necessary to ensure the client’s immediate safety and wellbeing. Additionally, the staff member will notify the individual in the supervisory chain of command he/she feels is most suitable to handle the issue. No consideration needs to be given, by the employee, of the routine supervision and reporting process, and the employee shall not suffer any reprisal for not following the usual procedure. An “emergency grievance” is any situation where the safety and wellbeing of the client has been or may be significantly and adversely affected. Examples would be reports of program child abuse, threats by the client to injure themselves or others, or threats by other clients towards the client.
If the grievance is not an “emergency grievance”, then the following process will be initiated:
- The grievance shall be referred for investigation to the APN Director of Compliance, Leana Gadbois-Sills by email to [email protected] or by telephone at (661) 478-7196.
- If the client and Director of Compliance or his/her Designee feel a satisfactory resolution has been achieved, then the grievance process will stop.
- If a satisfactory resolution was not achieved, then the grievance will be referred to the Client Rights Committee.
- If the client and Client Rights Committee feel a satisfactory resolution has been achieved, then the grievance process will stop.
- If a satisfactory resolution was not achieved, then notification to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health will occur, at Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, 3824 W. Princeton Cir., Denver, CO 80236, Phone: (303) 866-7400, Fax: (303) 866-7481. For APN clients in Texas, contact may be made to Department of Health and Human Services Commission, Complaint and Incident Intake, Mail Code E249, P.O. Box 149030, Austin, TX 78714-9030. Fax for Health Care Regulation: (833) 709-5735 or (512) 206-3985.
- If contact should be made with The Joint Commission, contact info is: The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181. Phone: 630-792-5411 / Fax: 630-792-4411
The interface between the APN, the Client and the Client Grievance Process:
- If a client avails him/herself of the Client Grievance Process and the issue is successfully resolved to the client’s and organization’s satisfaction, and there are no findings to warrant further action, then the matter will be considered resolved.
- Staff is specifically prohibited from engaging in any retaliatory actions against a client who files any grievance.
- APN will provide the client with a resolution to the grievance no later than fifteen (15) business days from submission of the grievance, endeavoring to do so on the following schedule:
- a. Response and disposition by Director of Compliance within five business days of initiated grievance.
- b. Response and disposition by the Client Rights Committee within five business of the unresolved grievance by the Director of Compliance.
- c. Notification to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health within five business days of the unresolved grievance by the Client Rights Committee.
- d. Where applicable, the notification may also include the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agency-Professional Practice License office. This determination will be made by the Director of Compliance, or the Client Rights Committee.
- If the grievance lodged is against a program staff member (including professional staff, program consultants, or contract individual agencies), they will be allowed to provide information in their defense.
- Documentation of the grievance, evaluations of the grievance, actions taken, and resolutions shall be made by all individuals/bodies who process the grievance. This documentation shall be maintained by the organization for a minimum of ten (10) years or (for children) until the client turns twenty-years-old. Copies of other documentation can be included, such as risk identification reports, etc. All information is confidential, and release of this information shall only be done in accordance with APN policies and the laws, rules, and regulations of confidentiality as put forth by the governing law or by a court order from a judge.
- A client will not lose his or her right to have the grievance formally considered and processed regardless of the method or manner in which the grievance is made known.For example, if a client verbally informs the attending staff of the grievance rather than submitting it in writing to the Director of Compliance, this act in no way causes a loss or restriction of the client’s rights to the grievance and the grievance process as described.
- If a grievance is against a staff member and involves abuse, then program officials will take all necessary actions to ensure the client is protected from this staff member. Additionally, program officials will take all necessary actions to ensure a client is not subject to retaliation from any grievance.