ARIZONA NEWS

State orders Hacienda HealthCare to hire third-party manager

Jan 16, 2019, 4:14 PM | Updated: Jan 23, 2019, 10:57 am
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Two Arizona agencies have ordered Hacienda HealthCare, where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth in December, to hire a third-party manager in an effort to protect the Phoenix facility’s patients.

Phoenix police have said the 29-year-old San Carlos Apache Tribe member, incapacitated since she was 3, became pregnant after she was sexually assaulted at the long-term care center.

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (the state’s Medicaid program) and the Arizona Department of Economic Security sent a letter outlining their demands on Wednesday.

These groups, plus the Arizona Department of Health Services, visited the facility following reports of the birth.

“During the course of those visits, there have been several significant concerns raised, and corrective action letters have been issued,” the letter stated.

“Nonetheless, in order to guarantee ongoing improvement, additional oversight is immediately warranted and necessary to protect the medically fragile patients at Hacienda and to assure their loved ones that they are safe and protected.”

The letter said the facility must communicate its intent to comply in writing by 5 p.m. Thursday.

If it fails to comply, the state will terminate its provider agreement with Hacienda HealthCare.

A corrective action letter sent on Jan. 7 from the state’s Medicaid program to Perry Petrilli, Hacienda’s director of social services, said an onsite review determined that the health or welfare of one of its members was endangered.

The agency required immediate action from Hacienda HealthCare due to the “substantial and critical failures of Hacienda to safeguard member’s safety and ensure quality of services.”

Some demands listed by the agency in its letter included conducting pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease testing, improving security protocols and disclosing policies for various checks and trainings.

Hacienda HealthCare issued a statement saying it will respond to the state’s request soon.

“Hacienda HealthCare remains fully committed to ensuring the safety of its patients and to making sure that no patient receives anything but the best possible care,” the statement said.

“The Hacienda Board of Directors has taken this letter under advisement. The board is considering the best possible option forward — for Hacienda’s patients and their families, for the Hacienda team and for the organization.”

The facility must identify the third-party manager by Jan. 23, and that person must be in place and overseeing day-to-day operations by Jan. 30.

The manager will need to assess each resident and his or her care plan within 90 days from Jan. 16.

The letter included a list of qualifications the new manager must meet and stipulations concerning the manager’s payment.

The facility announced Monday that it is launching an internal review led by former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley.

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating the incident and collected DNA swabs from male employees last week.

The victim’s family, through a lawyer, said in a statement that they were “disappointed to see that…Hacienda’s leadership chose not to express any remorse or apology for Hacienda’s inexcusable failure to protect and safeguard their vulnerable daughter.”

AHCCCS Hacienda Corrective … by on Scribd

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State orders Hacienda HealthCare to hire third-party manager