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Statewide waiver ombudsman

The Medicaid waiver program has a statewide waiver ombudsman who receives, investigates, and attempts to resolve complaints and concerns that are made by or on behalf of individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and participate in home-and community-based services through the Bureau of Disabilities Services.

The ombudsman is independent of BDS and is not funded by and does not report to anyone in the waiver program to remain a neutral party.

What does the statewide waiver ombudsman do:

Per Indiana Code 12-11-13, the role of the statewide waiver ombudsman is to receive, investigate and attempt to resolve complaints on concerns that are made by or on behalf of individuals who have an intellectual disability and who participate in home and community-based waiver services.

Please note that the ombudsman can not perform the following actions:

  • Legal advice
  • Guardianship
  • Assist with complaints outside of BDS home and community-based services

Who can contact the statewide waiver ombudsman?

  • Participants of home and community-based services
  • Relatives, guardians and friends of participants of home and community-based services
  • Administrators and employees of home and community-based service providers
  • Anyone concerned about the welfare of participants of home and community-based services
  • The community at large

Reasons why people call the statewide waiver ombudsman:

Types of complaints received include:

  • Complaints initiated by families and/or participants
  • Complaints involving rights or issues of participant choice:
  • Complaints requiring coordination between legal services, the Bureau of Disabilities Services and provider services.

How to file a complaint

If you or someone you care about receives services from the Bureau of Disabilities Services, you have the right to file a complaint regarding your concerns about the quality of life or care for yourself or your loved one.

There are several ways you may express your concerns:

If you decide to file a complaint with the statewide waiver ombudsman, here is what you can expect:

  • The information we receive is confidential.
  • You have the right to remain anonymous.
  • The ombudsman will review your complaint within 2-3 business days of receipt of the complaint.
  • If you provide your contact information, the ombudsman may contact you for additional information.
  • If the participant or participant’s representative requests and grants permission to receive assistance from the program, an ombudsman will assist the participant or their representative to try to resolve their concerns.

When communicating your complaint to the ombudsman, be sure to provide the following information:

  • The name of the resident(s).
  • Your name and contact information (unless you prefer to remain anonymous).
  • The name and city where the individual lives.
  • Specific details about the nature of your concern.