The Office of the Ombudsman is not a substitute or replacement for normal complaint resolution. The goal is to ensure that existing systems are effective and that they resolve differences fairly. However, if you don't know the appropriate person to call, or the system doesn't seem to be working for you, then call the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman may use unbiased investigation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods and/or provide referral services.
The Ombudsman has no authority to require DHHS or any of its contractors to change a decision, but will look at the disagreement and try to bring about a resolution that is fair.
The Ombudsman may also present DHHS management with findings of an investigation and recommended changes.
The records of the Ombudsman's Office shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed without consent of the client or employee on whose behalf the complaint is made, except as may be necessary to assist the service provider or the employee's supervisor to resolve the complaint, or as required by law.
The Office of the Ombudsman deals with issues involving:
- Medicaid services;
- Financial assistance, including food stamps;
- Services to persons with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or substance abuse;
- Regulatory problems and/or administrative decisions;
- Services to Children and Families; Juvenile Justice;
- Employee concerns;
- Civil rights; and
- Any other service provided by DHHS or its contractors.