/Mississippi adult day care facilities violating state law, feds say

Mississippi adult day care facilities violating state law, feds say

The Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also reported that Mississippi failed to fully comply with federal and State requirements. The state’s annual inspections of adult care facilities “failed” to provide a safe and non-hazardous environment. The state has cut back on the money it requires to regulate these facilities which care for some of the most vulnerable residents of the state. According to the report, Mississippi officials claim that budget cuts and low auditor staffing levels have limited the state’s oversight and monitoring provider facilities. Staffing and training were also reduced and state licensing requirements not met. The Office of Inspector General discovered 564 instances of provider noncompliance. 194 of these were related to safety and health requirements. These safety violations included toxic chemicals in easily accessible areas, exposed wiring and resident rooms with water damage, mold and one bathroom that had a dead rodent. Unsanitary areas in food service and exteriors of facilities were also found. Barbed wire was also found within walking distance to outdoor seating. According to the report, the remaining 370 violations related to administrative requirements. Barbed wire was found just steps from outdoor seating areas. “We recommend Mississippi take a variety of steps to protect these beneficiaries. This includes ensuring providers correct the 564 instances of provider compliance identified in our report.” Mississippi Division of Medicaid, which oversees state inspections, also agreed with the OIG’s findings. It offered solutions to the violations. In a letter to the Office of Inspector General included in the report, they argued that the responsibility for these violations should be shifted to day care providers and not the state agency. The Office of Inspector General disagreed. It claimed that even though Mississippi was responsible for these violations, it still failed to comply with oversight or monitoring. The letter in the appendix to the report states that the Division of Medicaid will prepare a corrective plan for each of 564 violations. It will then follow this up with an audit to verify that the violations have been rectified. Adult day care facilities in Mississippi do not have to be licensed at the moment. The Division of Medicaid stated that it would work with lawmakers to amend that requirement to “ensure monitoring, oversight and consistency occur on a consistent basis by an entity appropriately training in health care facility standards.” In February, the Office of Inspector General called the Division of Medicaid to review the draft of its report. The Division of Medicaid conducted 109 audits of adult-care facilities between April and July of last year and closed 13. In a letter, the Division of Medicaid stated that it was committed to auditing all adult care facility providers who submitted waiver claims and are not currently under active investigation by Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The Mississippi Elderly and Disabled Waiver program provides home and community-based services to people 65 and over and those with disabilities 21 and 64. It funds services in the home and in the community for individuals with disabilities. These services are paid for by a federal Medicaid waiver. The Office of Inspector General reviewed the services offered by 133 Mississippi programs and chose 20 based on their geographic location and size. The report is available here.