.09 Complaint Process.

A. Internal Complaint Process. An agency shall institute an internal client complaint process that includes:

(1) Notice to the client or the client representative of the complaint process;

(2) Protocols to investigate complaints; and

(3) A mechanism for the receipt and timely investigation of written complaints that ensures that the clientís services will not be disrupted due to the filing of a complaint.

B. Internal Complaint Investigations.

(1) All investigation reports shall include:

(a) Time, date, place, and individuals involved;

(b) Complete description of the complaint;

(c) Disposition of the complaint; and

(d) Follow-up activities and steps taken to prevent its reoccurrence.

(2) If the agency does not conduct a complaint investigation, the agency shall document in the complaint record the reason for not conducting an investigation.

(3) An agency shall provide notice to the following persons regarding the disposition of a complaint:

(a) Client, or if the client is incompetent, the client representative;

(b) Clientís physician, if needed; and

(c) Licensing or law enforcement agencies, when required by law.

(4) An agency shall maintain records to support its internal complaint investigation process.

C. An agency shall provide notice to clients of the Departmentís complaint hotline number for complaints about services provided by the agency or services that the agency failed to provide.

D. Availability of Internal Investigation Reports.

(1) The agency shall make investigation reports available to the Department immediately upon request.

(2) An agency shall provide a summary report of any complaint investigation for public inspection, upon request, to the extent permitted by law.