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Office of the Ombudsman

Welcome to the Web site of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

By law, this office serves as an advocate for citizens and works to ensure those seeking various public services are treated fairly.

The Office of the Ombudsman answers questions about CHFS programs, investigates customer complaints and works with CHFS management to resolve them, advises CHFS management about patterns of complaints and recommends corrective action when appropriate.

Currently, the office consists of three branches: Complaint Review, Performance Enhancement and the Institutional Review Board. We are working to integrate all the functions of the Ombudsman's Office within a proactive, data-driven agency whose contributions to the Cabinet will be essential to overall quality improvement.

The Office of the Ombudsman seeks to be conscientious and responsive in our contact with the public and to provide meaningful feedback to Cabinet program personnel with the primary goal of improving customer service, customer satisfaction and overall Cabinet effectiveness.

Please feel free to call on us if we may be of assistance in any way.

How To Contact The Office Of The Ombudsman

By Telephone:  1-800-372-2973 or 1-800-627-4702 (TTY)

Online:

E-mail the Ombudsman

Online Complaint form

By Mail:

The Office of the Ombudsman
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
275 E. Main St., 1E-B
Frankfort, KY 40621

Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman consists of the Complaint Review Branch, the Performance Enhancement Branch and the Institutional Review Board.

Complaint Review Branch

The Complaint Review Branch handles calls and correspondence concerning programs within the departments for Community Based Services, Medicaid Services, Behavioral Health/Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities and Public Health. The branch issues reports to these agencies concerning complaint trends and patterns and recommends corrective action.

Performance Enhancement Branch

Quality Assurance Section
Staff determines administrative hearing eligibility of service complaints regarding the Department for Community Based Services Division of Protection and Permanency and requests to appeal child abuse and/or child neglect substantiations. The section also maintains responsibility for investigating counties throughout the commonwealth, regarding child protective services, as it relates to House Joint Resolution 137/17, and makes recommendations for policy or legislative changes that may improve service delivery.

Management Evaluation Section
Staff conducts federal management evaluation reviews for the food stamp program, assists in writing county and regional corrective action plans and conducts exit conferences with Cabinet field staff in all Kentucky counties. This section also prepares the federal food stamp corrective action state plan and ensures continuous error identifications and revises local and regional plans accordingly.

Program Access and Compliance Section
Staff performs federally mandated food stamp access reviews of local offices to ensure compliance with regulations regarding eligible client access to services. Follow-up and exit interviews are conducted in each office. This section also works to identify and resolve potential barriers and implements corrective action and continuous monitoring.

Institutional Review Board

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) ensures that clients or employees of the Cabinet involved in research as subjects are adequately protected. In addition to providing protections for the Cabinet’s clients and employees, the IRB also provides protections for subjects of research conducted, supported, endorsed, approved or sponsored by the Cabinet. This includes research conducted by individuals, students, employees, professors, universities, for-profit institutions, non-profit institutions, government agencies or other entities.

The safety and welfare of research subjects includes the prevention of physical, emotional, and psychological harm that might result from the research activity, as well as any harm that might occur because of a breach of confidentiality, including an unauthorized disclosure of protected health information used in research in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Small Business Ombudsman

Contact the Small Business Ombudsman

By e-mail

By phone: (502)564-5497

By fax: (502)564-9523

Write to:
Small Business Ombudsman
275 E. Main St., 1E-B
Frankfort, KY 40621

Frequently Asked Questions About The Ombudsman

How can the Office of the Ombudsman assist me?

When should I contact the Complaint Review Branch?

What will happen after I file a complaint?

 

Client complaints are received and reviewed by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, the Quality Assurance Section of the Performance Enhancement Branch and the Complaint Review Branch.

If your complaint directly pertains to a long-term care setting, you can contact that office directly. When specifically requesting an appeal pertaining to the Division of Protection and Permanency, it is appropriate to complete a written service appeal or Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act appeal and mail it to the Quality Assurance Section. The appropriate forms can be obtained from your local Division of Protection and Permanency office or by contacting the Ombudsman's Office by calling its toll-free number. Other issues should be directed to the Complaint Review Branch.

The Complaint Review Branch receives and investigates complaints and answers questions about programs administered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. This office also:

  • recommends corrective action where appropriate;
  • prompts Cabinet officials and staff to resolve problems customers have with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and its programs; and
  • advises the Cabinet secretary of service delivery problems.

The Complaint Review Branch is not authorized to make, change or set aside law, policy or administrative decisions. However, it is authorized to take appropriate action to facilitate resolution of specific issues and broader systemic problems.

 

Usually it is best to think of the Complaint Review Branch as a last resort when other approaches to resolve problems and issues have failed. If you have a problem, first discuss it with the person or office involved. Many times, this will result in an explanation of a specific policy or efforts to address your concern on the spot.

If you don't know who to see or what procedure to use, contact the Complaint Review Branch. We will point you to the right person and even advise the best approach to solve your problem.

If you have already made a reasonable effort to resolve your problem with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and still have not been successful, contact the Complaint Review Branch.

 

A member of the Complaint Review Branch called a citizen assistant specialist (CAS) will discuss your complaint with you. In some cases, the problem can be resolved in a matter of minutes. If an investigation is necessary, it may take longer. After investigating, the CAS will determine if the complaint is justified.

If your complaint is justified, we will work with you and the Cabinet to find a fair solution.

If your complaint is not justified, we will take the time to explain the reason. The Complaint Review Branch approaches every complaint with impartiality and objectivity.

 

Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has moved.
 

The Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is now located in the Cabinet's Department for Aging and Independent Living.

Please use the following information to contact the Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman:

1(800) 372-2991

Online Contact Form

 

Last Updated 10/14/2013
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