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Hacienda HealthCare agrees to state’s request to hire third-party manager

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PHOENIX — Hacienda HealthCare, where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth in December, has agreed to two Arizona agencies’ demand that the Phoenix facility hire a third-party manager.

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, following visits to the facility.

Hacienda HealthCare met its 5 p.m. Thursday deadline to communicate its intent to comply.

The facility released a portion of the letter it sent to the agencies:

“As you know, Hacienda is committed to working with your agencies to ensure that you are satisfied with the level of care and protection we provide to our patients. As we discussed with your staff on Monday, we had hoped to address all your concerns without the formal retention of a third-party manager. Your request from yesterday precludes that possibility.”

“Hacienda and its Board of Directors remain committed to our core mission of serving our patients and their families, and given your directive, we believe the best path forward is for us to identify and retain a qualified third-party manager, as directed.”

The center must now 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 state’s request included a list of qualifications the new manager must meet and stipulations concerning the manager’s payment.

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

The agencies said the state would terminate its provider agreement with Hacienda HealthCare if it did not comply.

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.”

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