Grievance Process

Concerns Regarding Care or Services

Client Grievances


PURPOSE. The purpose of this policy is to provide a mechanism for clients, patients, donors, and event participants (hereinafter in this section referred to as “clients”) to formally and internally report and resolve issues with the services Equitas Health provides. By taking advantage of the client grievance process, clients and patients are provided a written feedback and assurance from high-level staff within Equitas Health.

  • “Grievance” – means an oral or written expression of displeasure or dissatisfaction with service received that cannot be immediately resolved by the staff present.
  • “Client Rights Officer” – means the Compliance Officer at Equitas Health, whom can be reached at 614-340-6781 or


POLICY. Clients must have the ability to file a Complaint or Grievance as part of the client rights process. Clients registering Grievances shall not be subjected to retaliation and/or barriers to service or participation. Equitas Health’s policies for managing Complaints and Grievances incorporates the following objectives:

  • Provide patients with a mechanism for filing Complaints and Grievances without fear of retaliation and/or barriers to service.
  • Provide patients with information about the mechanism and procedure to use to file a Complaint or Grievance with Equitas Health (Client Grievance Brochure).
  • Provide a planned, systematic mechanism for receiving and promptly acting upon issues expressed by patients and/or patient representatives.
  • Provide an on-going system for monitoring and trending patient Complaints and Grievances.
  • Clarify that billing issues are not considered a Grievance unless the Complaint also contains elements addressing patient service or care issues.
  • Clients have the right to file a grievance at the following related agencies that accredit, fund, or partner with Equitas Health to ensure that clients receive the best care possible:



CARF Accreditation (520) 318-1129
Ohio Legal Rights Service (614) 466-7264
Office for Civil Rights/US Department of Health and Human Services (312) 886-2359
Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Board (614) 466-0912
Office of Criminal Justice Services (614) 466-7782
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (614) 469-573


Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (877) 275-6364
Ohio Department of Health (800) 777-4775
Columbus Public Health (614) 645-2273


PROCEDURES. All staff are expected to follow the procedures outlined below concerning client grievances at Equitas Health.

  • Patient Notification. Patient should be notified by Equitas Health staff that they have the right to submit an official Client Grievance during registration/admission to any of our practices. If requested, staff should provide client(s) with the Client Grievance Brochure.
  • Patient Complaint. Patients should be encouraged to express any and all complaints with the Equitas Health staff member involved in their care. Many times, staff involved or staff supervisors can resolve an issue without the filing of a formal complaint. If, however, an issue cannot be immediately resolved, a client should be asked to complete a written grievance. Clients should be provided the Client Grievance Form.
  • The Grievance. A written grievance (dated and signed) must be submitted to the Compliance Officer within 14 calendar days of a grievable incident. The Compliance Officer is located at 4400 North High Street, Suite 300, Columbus, OH 43214, (614)-340-6781, (Fax) 614-340-6718, The grievance must have the date and time of the alleged violation and a detailed description of the grievance. The Compliance Officer must investigate the incident.
  • The Resolution. The Compliance Officer will then make a resolution decision within 21 calendar days of receipt of written grievance and provide written notification and explanation of the resolution to the griever.
  • The Appeal. Notice of appeal must be made in writing within 14 calendar days of the Compliance Officer’s decision. An appeal regarding the Compliance Officer’s resolution decision will be submitted and reviewed by two of Equitas Health’s high level program staff. The following high level program staff will be responsible for the grievance originating out of their departments:
    1. Director of Programs (Case Management, Behavioral Health, Housing, Prevention)
    2. Director of Healthcare Operations (Equitas Health Medical Center)
    3. Director of Pharmacy (Equitas Health Pharmacy)
    4. Chief Advancement Officer (Development)
    5. Chief Public Policy & Government Affairs Officer and Director of the Ohio AIDS Coalition (Ohio AIDS Coalition)

The Compliance Officer will choose the second high level staff member to review the appeal from the above list of individuals. Once an appeal is filed, the decision by the two reviewing staff members will be final and is due to the client in 14 calendar days. If there is a disagreement between the two staff members reviewing the grievance, the Chief Operating Officer will have the final say.


STAFF EXPECTATIONS. All staff shall be made aware of the Client Grievance Procedure, and when necessary provide the Client Grievance Brochure or Client Grievance Form. Program staff that are not in conflict with the situation will assist clients in filing the grievance if requested. Staff will ensure that clients know who the Compliance Officer is and that clients understand the Grievance Procedure. Equitas Health shall maintain for at least two years records of written grievances received that include, but are not limited to, the following: a copy of the grievance, documentation of the resolution of the grievance, and a copy of a letter to the client reflecting the resolution of the grievance.






Department Operations
Updated September 2016
Approved By: Trent Stechschulte


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