Wednesday, June 29, 2016

90 Day Intent to Terminate ICF licensure and funding

Oh my!  It has been a long time since I posted anything and so much has happened!  Sometimes there is just too much going on to slow down.

The Wyoming Life Resource Center used to be one of the best facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.  Used to be.

Over the past nearly three years, guardians and family members have been voicing their concerns over overcrowding, insufficient staffing,  and loss of active treatments. We were patronized and half-heartedly placated.  We were also complacent.  As the Department of Health held us hostage with our fear of closure, we did not voice our concerns loud enough, persistent enough.
 
We can no longer afford to be complacent in our advocacy efforts.  Things really took a turn for the worse in January, when we had yet another Interim Superintendent walk through that revolving door. We didn't notice how bad it was until April, when my aunt fell very ill.
 
We were alarmed.  We were overwhelmed.  We saw some of our worst fears realized and weren't really sure where to turn.  Once again, we found ourselves writing to our governor.  We reached out to our legislators. Representatives of the Department of Health continued to spew rhetorical answers to our questions and concerns.
 
Then Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. showed up. We were torn between facing our fears of closure and facing fears that our loved ones were at risk.  For some, the risk of death far outweighed any risk of closure.  For others, fear of closure prevented them from speaking up. The P&A investigation culminated in a call for our governor to immediately institute reform to ensure the safety and well-being of the clients served at the Life Resource Center.
 
Last month, federal surveyors from Centers for Medicaid/Medicare services came to Wyoming and performed their own investigation.  Imminent jeopardy. Deficiencies. 90 day intent to terminate.  Not in compliance for participation in the ICF program.  Our heads were, and still are, spinning.
 
The Senior Administrator of the Behavioral Health Division in the Department of Health assured us the necessary corrective actions would be taken to bring the facility into compliance with ICF regulations.  Consultants were hired.  The consultant who is to serve as Interim Superintendent, until a permanent one can be hired, came in to prepare and submit the plan of corrective action with CMS then left again.  We are told he will return the second week of July.  In the meantime, the individual who was serving as Interim Superintendent (and should be held accountable for the entire CMS report) is in charge until this consultant returns.
 
And so we wait with baited breath. Is there something more we can do? How do we ensure that our voices are heard in the future? How do we protect our loved ones with a departmental administration who refuses to take seriously our concerns?  How do we convince legislators that our loved ones are living, breathing, feeling human beings and not just numbers?
 

2 Comments:

At June 30, 2016 at 11:19 PM , Blogger zaeli22 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At June 30, 2016 at 11:30 PM , Blogger zaeli22 said...

According to a recent article in the Riverton Ranger, Tom Forslund states that the reason there has not been any qualified applicants for the superintendants position is that 120k a year is not a competitive salary. LMAO. Or could it be they have a bad reputation? The last guy had years of experience managing similar facilities and a masters degree from harvard university, as well as several other credentials. What exactly are they looking for? And why are they so protective of julie thompson? Things really went from bad to worse whem she entered the picture. Obviously there was a reason she was let go the first time, but i hear her and the HR ladies are all besties. Nepotism at its finest.

 

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