Medicaid Patients With Suspected Abuse and Neglect Were Not Investigated and Reported Immediately

By Ali Meyer

Medicaid patients in Maine who had critical incidents involving neglect, exploitation, or abuse were not investigated and reported immediately, according to an audit from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Auditors conducted the investigation after it was discovered there were cases of abuse and fatalities of patients with developmental disabilities in group homes.

“Our objective was to determine whether the Maine Department of Health and Human Services complied with federal waiver and state requirements for reporting and monitoring critical incidents involving Medicaid beneficiaries with developmental disabilities residing in community-based settings,” the report states.

If someone has a developmental disability, he may have a physical or mental impairment that is severe or chronic that is likely to continue as the person ages. The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver program provides funds for these individuals to avoid institutionalization and live in the community. In order to receive approval for this waiver, states must prove they are taking safeguards to protect the health and welfare of these beneficiaries.

The report found that 2,640 Medicaid patients in Maine had critical incidents, which are defined as occurrences that have an adverse effect on the safety, rights, dignity, and welfare of disabilities. Once a …read more

Source:: Washington Free Beacon