ARIZONA NEWS

Hacienda HealthCare to keep its state license, Medicaid contract

Jan 17, 2020, 3:45 PM
(KTAR News Photo)...
(KTAR News Photo)
(KTAR News Photo)

PHOENIX — Hacienda HealthCare, the embattled long-term care facility in Phoenix, will be allowed to keep its state license and Medicaid contract.

The Arizona Department of Health Services had issued a notice of intent to revoke the license in June 2019 after a patient was found with maggots under his bandage near an incision.

“ADHS has decided that giving Hacienda another opportunity to achieve and sustain substantial compliance with all of the state licensing and federal [conditions of participation],” the agency’s systems improvement agreement with the facility, which was signed Monday, stated.

“ADHS agrees to forego its revocation action in return for Hacienda’s agreeing to the terms and conditions of this agreement.”

The facility also recently reached an agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the agency said it was terminating Hacienda’s Medicaid participation in summer 2019.

“CMS has determined that this agreement best serves the interest of the Medicaid program and that terminating Hacienda … could have a detrimental impact on the communities that Hacienda serves as well as the Medicaid program and its beneficiaries,” the Jan. 6 settlement stated.

Both arrangements require Hacienda to hire “external quality improvement experts” and submit to regular monitoring from multiple groups.

The Arizona Center for Disability Law told KTAR News 92.3 FM it will be one of those groups.

“As the designated protection and advocacy agency for Arizona, our mandate is to monitor Hacienda HealthCare and similar facilities,” CEO J.J. Rico said in an emailed statement.

“ACDL intends to conduct routine monitoring visits to ensure the safety and care of all the residents.”

A Hacienda HealthCare spokesman declined to comment in an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

The facility has been on shaky ground since December 2018, when an incapacitated woman gave birth after being raped.

Nathan Sutherland, a nurse who cared for the woman, was arrested after his DNA was matched to the baby’s.

At the time of the birth, Hacienda was not required to have a license to operate in the state.

Shortly after, a state law was passed requiring that all intermediate care facilities for patients with intellectual disabilities get state licenses by January 2020.

Hacienda received its license in April 2019, and it is to be in effect until March of this year.

After the health department threatened to revoke the license, it said Hacienda would have the chance to respond and fight to keep it.

The facility was also able to appeal its termination from the Medicaid program.

Patients have been allowed to remain at the facility throughout the back-and-forth.

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