New complaint filed against State Hospital UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New complaint filed against State Hospital UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

The Disability Rights Center of Arkansas has filed additional complaints about operation of the State Hospital, specifically a unit that houses younger developmentally disabled males. The unit is already operating under a status in which it is in jeopardy of losing its certification to receive Medicaid money.

This is the new complaint filed with the Justice Department.

In addition to allegations about inappropriate treatment and punishment of patients, the complaint alleges the state is "marketing" the unit to attract children whose parents hope it will qualify them more quickly for a Medicaid program. The complaint describes this practice as a money-maker for the state and asks for a Medicaid fraud investigation.

UPDATE: The state response:

The Disability Rights Center has taken a clear position against having a unit within the state hospital to address children with both mental health and developmental disabilities. Certainly if such a program existed at the community level to meet these very complex acute needs, the department would like to have it as an option for our clients. The state hospital created this unit to address the needs voiced by the community. It’s imperative that DHS focus on making sure the unit has the training and expertise to address the issues facing the children entrusted to our care. From disciplinary actions to specialized training, several steps have been taken already to improve the program and based on the feedback provided by our colleagues at CMS, we are confident we are moving in the right direction.
Julie Munsell
Director of Communications
Arkansas Department of Human Services

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