Surveys and investigations of complaints and incidents
The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) surveys intemediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions (ICF/IID) annually to ensure that they are in compliance with federal certification and state licensure regulations. DADS also investigates self-reported incidents from facilities and complaints from individuals, family members, friends and others. Surveyors initiate investigation of complaints and incidents in facilities within 24 hours, 14 days or 45 days, depending on the priority assigned by the intake program specialist who receives the complaint or incident report. The priority is based on the immediacy and seriousness of the allegation.
DADS conducts on-site investigations for all complaints received. If DADS determines that the facility has investigated a self-reported incident, has determined the cause and has made the necessary changes to remove the problem, DADS may elect not to conduct an on-site investigation. If surveyors find a federal deficiency or state licensure violation during a visit, survey staff will make a follow-up visit to ensure that the facility has corrected the deficiency or violation and is in compliance with the regulations. DADS does not notify facilities before conducting surveys or investigations. For information on how to report a complaint, please visit the DADS Consumer Rights and Services website.
DADS has available surveyors from a number of professional disciplines, including qualified intellectual disability professionals, registered nurses, social workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, architects, engineers and Life Safety Code specialists. A team of specialists conducts the annual facility survey. DADS assigns one or more surveyors from specific areas of expertise to investigate complaints and incidents based on the nature of the complaint or incident and facility size.
When the survey team completes the survey, inspection, investigation, follow-up or other visit, it writes a report of the findings that details the facility's failures to comply with federal or state regulations, which are called deficiencies and violations, respectively. The facility must make survey reports available to all facility clients and visitors. Interested parties may also request survey team visit results from Consumer Rights and Services at 1-800-458-9858.
Once the survey team completes the report, DADS staff review the findings to determine if an enforcement action is necessary due to noncompliance with a condition of participation or repeat deficiencies. An array of enforcement actions are available under state licensing laws, including actions against a facility's license and monetary sanctions such as an administrative penalty or civil penalty.
State regulations give facilities the right to request an informal dispute resolution of the cited violations/deficiencies and to appeal enforcement actions.
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January 21, 2014