ARIZONA NEWS

State says Hacienda hasn’t complied with order to hire manager

Feb 5, 2019, 5:01 PM | Updated: 7:23 pm

PHOENIX – Contrary to an announcement made last week, Hacienda HealthCare apparently hasn’t yet complied with a state order to hire a third-party company to manage the Phoenix facility where an incapacitated woman gave birth late last year after being sexually assaulted.

A spokeswoman for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (the state’s Medicaid program) said Tuesday that Hacienda hasn’t reached “a definitive agreement” with Benchmark Human Services.

“It is our understanding that Benchmark is not onsite,” Heidi Capriotti told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email.

However, Hacienda HealthCare issued a statement saying the facility is under the direction of Benchmark and the state.

“Managerial authority resides with these third-party administrators,” the statement said.

Hacienda acknowledged that a deal with the Indiana-based company hadn’t been finalized.

“Hacienda was unable to reach a final contract with Benchmark in the short time frame imposed, as the vetting process was still underway,” the statement said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey shed light on the hangup in a letter he sent to Attorney General Mark Brnovich urging the state to take legal action against Hacienda.

“It has come to my attention over the weekend that Hacienda claims it cannot afford the cost of Benchmark, with anticipated costs of $500,000, even though according to tax documents, it paid the prior CEO an almost $600,000 salary,” said the letter, which Ducey sent Tuesday. “These facts do not add up.”

After a woman who can’t speak and has very limited movement had a baby at the care center on Dec. 29, AHCCCS and the Arizona Department of Economic Security issued a list of demands to Hacienda HealthCare, including an order to have a third-party manager in place by Jan. 30.

Failure to comply could lead to the state terminating its provider agreement with Hacienda.

On the day of the deadline, it appeared a deal was in place.

Benchmark, which specializes in serving people with disabilities, said at the time it “has assumed oversight of the facility and is conducting a thorough assessment of the current operations.”

Now, the state wants answers.

“The agencies have demanded that Hacienda outline, in detail, their plan to comply with all directives issued no later than the end of this week,” Capriotti said.

Hacienda said it was determined to address the state’s concerns.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to keep our patients safe, to make sure they get the best possible medical care and to comply with directives issued by the state of Arizona,” the company’s statement said.

On Jan. 23, Phoenix police arrested Nathan Sutherland, a Hacienda nurse, after investigators said they matched his DNA to the baby’s.

On Tuesday, Sutherland pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police seek information on death of man found shot on bridge near I-10

Police are investigating the death of a man who was found shot to death on a bridge that goes over the I-10 freeway in Phoenix. 
1 day ago
FILE - Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
Associated Press

Probe of Arizona senator’s comments on Buffalo shooting concludes

The attorney for the Arizona Senate's ethics committee submitted a report Friday on his investigation of a Republican lawmaker's online comments that appeared to blame the federal government for a supermarket massacre in Buffalo, New York.
1 day ago
(Photo by/KTAR News' Taylor Kinnerup)...
KTAR.com

About 100 people tried to get into Arizona Senate, tear gas used at protest after abortion ruling

Upwards of 100 people tried to get into the Arizona Senate building and tear gas had to be used at a protest in downtown Phoenix Friday night following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions, authorities said.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)...
KTAR.com

Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provides updates to state abortion law

Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provided clarity on Arizona abortion law following the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
1 day ago
(Pixabay photo)...
KTAR.com

1 child dead, brother in critical condition in Glendale drowning incident

One child is dead and another is in critical condition after a drowning incident in Glendale on Friday night.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/City of Mesa Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police shooting results in non-life threatening injuries to suspect

Two Mesa police officers were involved in a shooting Friday night at 8100 E University but did not suffer any injuries, according to authorities.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
State says Hacienda hasn’t complied with order to hire manager