Article today in The Seattle Times highlights some of the issues which we are concerned about:
I have written several times on just this issue. Please see Throwaway People and previous posts regarding similar problems and concerns.
Unfortunately, it is not just our state which is lacking oversight of homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) – this is a problem which has gone unchecked for too long. Too many people have been hurt, abused, killed because of this lack of oversight. The overzealous efforts to “deinstitutionalize” have created another problem and it is time to look at this problem rather than continue to exacerbate it. Let’s put the brakes on this disastrous experiment before more vulnerable people are hurt.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) * June 27, 2012
• Full HHS OIG Report
• Listen to Podcast / Summary of Report
Excerpts from Podcast:
“These [Home and Community-Based Services Waiver[ programs primarily serve the elderly and the disabled – people who are among Medicaid’s most vulnerable populations. And the very nature of the programs puts them at risk of receiving inadequate care. Most programs allow beneficiaries to be cared for by nonprofessionals without medical training.
“And, what’s more, beneficiaries receiving care in their homes are often alone and isolated from observers who might detect abuse or mistreatment. This is very different from the situation in nursing homes, where there are a lot of people who can detect and report potential abuse .
“Well, we went through the data that CMS collected, and we saw that CMS was aware of a lot of significant problems. CMS’s data showed that 7 of the 25 States we reviewed did not have adequate systems in place to ensure the quality of care.”