KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Every person who receives public mental health services has certain rights to protect them.  Your rights specific to mental health services are identified in the Michigan Mental Health Code, the law that governs the delivery of public mental health and developmental disability services in Michigan.  Sometimes, these are called “Code-protected rights.”

Some of your rights include:

· the right to be free from abuse and neglect
· the right to confidentiality (privacy)
· the right to be treated with dignity and respect
· the right to services that meet your needs

You have many other rights specific to your mental health services.  More information about your rights is contained in the booklet titled “Your Rights when Receiving Mental Health Services in Michigan.”  You will receive this booklet, and have your rights explained to you, when you first start services, and then once every year.  You may ask for this booklet, or ask questions about your rights, at any time.

If you use public mental health or substance abuse services, you are free to exercise your rights,  and to use the rights protection system, without fear of retaliation, harassment, or discrimination. MCCMH staff and contractors will not take action against you if you use the Office of Recipient Rights,  You do not need permission from anyone at MCCMH to use the Office of Recipient Rights or to take other action about a concern.  You may do so at any time.

To learn more about your rights, call the Office of Recipient Rights at 586-469-6528 and ask to speak with a Rights Advisor.  Your calls to the Office of Recipient Rights are confidential.

MAKING A RIGHTS COMPLAINT

The Office of Recipient Rights

Our Office of Recipient Rights (ORR) was established when the Michigan Mental Health Code was created by Public Act 258 in 1974. We investigate allegations and violations of the rights established by the Michigan Mental Health Code, which is the law that governs the delivery of public mental health and developmental disability services in Michigan. Our office also has jurisdiction over direct staff and providers that are contracted with MCCMH.

Every person who receives public mental health services has rights and are protected by them. The rights specific to mental health services are identified in the Michigan Mental Health Code (or code-protected rights).

Some rights include:

  • The right to be free from abuse and neglect
  • The right to confidentiality (privacy)
  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect
  • The right to services that meet your needs

Anyone who utilizes public mental health or substance abuse services is free to exercise their rights and to use the rights protection system without fear of retaliation, harassment, or discrimination. If a complaint is filed, a MCCMH team member or provider will not take any action. Permission is not needed to use the Office of Recipient Rights or to take other action about a concern.

Click here to visit our documented resources: HERE

To learn more about your rights, contact the ORR to speak with a Rights Advisor by dialing 586-469-6528. All calls to the ORR are free and confidential.

Rights to an Appeal

We‘re here to ensure that the experience of every person that we serve is effective, satisfying, and problem-free. From time to time, concerns about a service(s) may arise. Anyone receiving services has the right, at any time, to tell us if they are dissatisfied with anything about their service(s) or their experience at MCCMH. This can be done in the following ways:

Informal Resolution

If an individual is unhappy with their service(s) or experience with MCCMH, they are encouraged to tell us. Talk to an appointed therapist, case manager or supports coordinator (or their supervisors) to see if the concern can be resolved directly in the clinic. If this does not resolve the issue or if the situation is uncomfortable, our Ombudsman can help.

Second Opinion

In some cases, a request for services can be denied if a person is requesting MCCMH services for the first time or is requesting hospitalization. A second opinion can be requested which will be subject to a review of the decision made. Usually, a second opinion is provided by the CEO or by their designee. If a second opinion is requested, it must be done in writing. Our Ombudsman is available to assist in issuing a request for a second opinion.

Local Appeal

Anyone who utilizes services at MCCMH can request a local appeal. A local appeal is a formal request for the review of an action made by MCCMH. An appeal can be filed if an individual does not agree with a decision to reduce, suspend, deny, or terminate services. It can also be filed if an individual does not agree with the contents their person-centered plan (plan of service), if they don’t agree with determinations about fees, if they have fees, or if they’re dissatisfied with their Family Support Subsidy payments. Appeals are heard by a representative of Macomb County who was not involved in the original decision.

Appeals can be requested verbally or in writing. However, if a verbal request is made, it should be followed-up in writing. If an individual has Medicaid or Healthy Michigan coverage, they have 60 days from the date of the action to request an appeal. Concurrently, if an individual has other coverage or no coverage, they have 20 days to request an appeal.

Medicaid Fair Hearing

If a person receives Medicaid, they may request a Medicaid Fair Hearing. A Medicaid Fair Hearing is a state level review of a decision made by MCCMH to deny, reduce, terminate or suspend Medicaid-covered services. An administrative law judge who is independent of both the Department of Health and Human Services and MCCMH will hear the review. To request a Medicaid Fair Hearing, an individual must have a local appeal first. In addition, the Medicaid Fair Hearing must be done in writing and must be requested 120 days after a local appeal decision.

If there are any other questions regarding your rights or options related to grievances, second opinions, appeals, and Medicaid Fair Hearings, our Ombudsman is available to assist.

Click here to learn about our Ombudsman and how they can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file a complaint?

Anyone can file a complaint utilizing the Recipient Rights Complaint form. Click here to complete the complaint form. You may also file by complaint by contacting the ORR at 586-469-6528 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An individual may also leave a message during non-business hours and someone will contact you during normal business hours.

Who can file a Recipient Rights complaint?

Anyone can file a complaint to our Office of Recipient Rights. We typically receive complaints from staff, guardians, family members, individuals receiving services and the general public.

Complaints can be filed anonymously as well. However, if a complaint is filed anonymously, there will be no further notifications regarding the investigation and the individual’s appeal rights are forfeited. Additionally, filing an anonymous complaint does not guarantee anonymity. Depending upon the particular situation, a person’s identity could be determined.

What happens after I file my complaint?

If a complaint involves an allegation of a violation of right(s) (as protected by the Michigan Mental Health Code), an investigation will be conducted.

If an investigation is opened, the complainant will be notified. From there, periodic status reports (30 and 60 days) regarding the investigation will be provided. The Office of Recipient Rights has 90 days to complete an investigation (unless there is an investigation by external agencies – such as law enforcement) and submit its findings to the service provider to take corrective action, if applicable. From there, after 10 business days, the CEO of MCCMH will issue a Summary Report of the investigation to the individual receiving services, complainant (if different), the guardian (if any), or parent of a minor. They will also receive information regarding their appeal rights.

What if I am not happy with the result of the investigation?

If unhappy with the result of an investigation, the complainant or individual receiving services (if different), guardian (if any), and the parent of a minor may file an appeal. The grounds for an appeal are:

  • The investigative findings of the office are not consistent with the facts or with law, rules, policies, or guidelines
  • The action taken or plan of action proposed by the respondent does not provide an adequate remedy
  • An investigation was not initiated or completed within a timely basis

Once an appeal is filed, a notice will be sent regarding the date and time that the Appeals Committee will hear your appeal along with additional information regarding the appeals process.

Will I cost someone to lose their job?

The Office of Recipient Rights does not make specific recommendations regarding corrective action that should be taken by a provider of services. It is required that disciplinary action be taken for substantiations of abuse, neglect, and retaliation or harassment. The ORR does ensure that, in those circumstances, disciplinary action is taken (written reprimand up to termination). Provided that the corrective action meets the requirements outlined in the Michigan Mental Health Code, the corrective action is in the discretion of the service provider.

We have a wide range of resources for community members to reference for general information or for guidance during their appeal process. All resources are free and available to be downloaded and printed for use.

Click here to visit our Documented Resources for the Community.

SUBSTANCE USE RECIPIENT RIGHTS

Every person who receives alcohol or drug treatment services has certain rights protected by law. Your rights specific to substance use treatment services are spelled out in the Administrative Rules for Substance Abuse Programs in Michigan, and in other State and Federal laws
Some of your rights include:.

  • the right to confidentiality (privacy)
  • the right to be free from abuse and neglect
  • the right to services that meet your needs
  • the right to be treated with dignity and respect

You have many other rights when you receive substance use treatment services. Ask your treatment provider for a copy of the pamphlet, “Know Your Rights,” or call the Macomb County Office of Substance Abuse (MCOSA) at 586-469-5278 and ask to speak to the Substance Abuse Rights Advisor.

PRIVACY RIGHTS

Keeping your treatment information private is called confidentiality. You must sign a “Release of Information” to tell us who you want us to talk to about your treatment, and what information we can share.

Except as required by law, we cannot tell anyone, even your family members, that you receive services from us, unless you give us permission. If you receive public mental health or developmental disability services, your family members may be able to provide information to MCCMH about you to help with your treatment. Even if they do so, we cannot give information about you or your treatment to a family member without your permission.. Parents with legal and physical custody may give and receive information about their minor children (under the age of 18). Parents must sign a release to allow us to share their child’s information with others. The legally appointed guardian(s) of adults may also give and receive information about those for whom they have responsibility, and may authorize release of information to others.

There are many laws that govern your privacy when you receive medical, mental health, or substance use treatment services. One is HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA gives you specific rights to privacy, including notice about where and when your information is shared, and the right to request communication in certain ways or places. Click here for the 2016 Revised Notice of Privacy Rights.  We will provide you a new notice if we change our privacy practices, or you may ask for a Privacy Notice at any time. Information about HIPAA is posted at every MCCMH service location.

If you have questions about your privacy rights, or you believe your confidentiality has been violated, call the Office of Recipient Rights at 586-469-6528 and ask to speak with a Rights Advisor.

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