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Media Exposes of "Community" Abuse

PAIN & PROFITS - a Dallas Morning News investigation series

A systemic investigation of the multi-billion dollar Texas Medicaid managed healthcare industry, uncovering how disabled patients and families were being shortchanged in "Community" services for the sake of profits.

The AUGUSTA CHRONICLE investigation of deaths after the closure of Georgia's ICF's - Journalist Tom Corwin

Girl’s death among 500 in one year in community care -03/21/15

Disabled patients continue to die in community care- 10/13/18

CHICAGO TRIBUNE group home expose - Suffer in Secret series

In the rush to close institutions, Illinois glossed over serious problems in group homes

Why Did Tyler Bryant Die? The State Must Answer - The News & Advance - 05/26/17

This tragedy has been building ever since the state announced in 2012 that all but one of its residential training centers would be closing.

Pa. DHS revokes Blossom’s license for group homes - Chestnut Hill Local by Sue Ann Ryback -06/07/21

The report from DHS listed more than 80 violations since the summer. Inspections in July and August found medications were not administered on repeated occasions.

Another inspection found that “bed linens were dirty with brown stains consistent with feces.”

 She and another advocacy group member recently sent an email voicing their concerns over the welfare of an individual they recently visited.

“His hands are contracted, and his nails had not been cut for such a long period of time that they were growing right into his palms,” 

Autistic Man Whose Caretaker Was Shot by Cop Is 'Traumatized - by Melissa Chan - TIME U.S. Florida

Rivera said officers at the time did not know Rios had autism and did not know the object in his hand was a toy. The officer who shot Kinsey was later identified as Officer Jonathan Aledda, 30, a member of the department’s SWAT team, according to CBS News.

Caretaker Accidentally Shoots Man With Developmental Disabilities Inside Home, Police Say - 10PHILADELPHIA -  By David Chang and Deanna Durante • Published May 19, 2021 •

A caretaker accidentally shot a man with developmental disabilities while unloading his gun inside a Montgomery County group home, police said. 


Who Decides Where Autistic Adults Live? - The Atlantic - Amy S.F. Lutz -  05/26/15

For many intellectually and developmentally disabled people, large campuses or farmsteads may be better options than small group homes. But new state laws could make it hard for big facilities to survive.

Nowhere to go: Young people with severe autism languish weeks or longer in hospitals

Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals because of a lack of community treatment programs able to deal with their outbursts, according to interviews with parents, advocates and physicians from Maine to California as well as federal and state data.

In January 2018, a joint report from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Inspector General, the Administration for Community Living, and the Office for Civil Rights issued a report entitled “Ensuring Beneficiary Safety in Group Homes through State Implementation of Comprehensive Compliance Oversight.” The “OIG found that health and safety policies and procedures were not being followed. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures left group home beneficiaries [sic] at risk of serious harm. These are not isolated incidents but a systemic problem — 49 States had media reports of health and safety problems in group homes.” But such “systemic” problems in the “community” system do not matter to many advocates; indeed, today’s ICFs are made to pay for the sins of institutional Pennhurst from 40 years ago, but the “Community” system is immune to criticism for its serious systemic shortcomings today.

A Performance Audit of the Commonwealth's Oversight of the Community Group Homes for the Mentally Retarded in Western Pennsylvania

Investigation by then Pennsylvania Auditor General Robert P. Casey, Jr. who is now Senator Robert Casey

Cost Comparisons of Institutional and Residential Settings: Historical Review of Selected Research

Kevin K. Walsh, Theodore A. Kastner, and Regina Gentlesk Green

Joey Jennings Story - By Sue Jennings - Exceptional Parent Magazine - Dec 2017

What appeared to be one of the least restrictive placements for Joey - turned out to be the most restrictive for him because it turned out to be most inappropriate for his complex needs.

Her Disabled Son Died Alone in a Group Home Closet By Susan Livio - NJ . com - 12/14/20

William Cray was found dead on the floor of his bedroom closet in a group home in Somers Point three years ago.

Factors Associated With Expenditures for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons With Mental Retardation (ICF/MR) Services fo...

Article in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities · July 2008

Philadelphia state rep. charged with stealing more than $500,000 from nonprofit - WITF by Katie Myer

Philadelphia State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell was charged Wednesday with stealing over $500,000 from a nonprofit she founded to help people in her city who are struggling with mental illness and addiction, homelessness, and intellectual disabilities.  Her care homes were found to be in squalid condition.

Shapiro said the hundreds of thousands of dollars Johnson-Harrell allegedly stole over the years went to a wide range of uses, like clothing, trips to Mexico, Orlando, Georgia and Maryland, school tuition for a relative, overdue car payments on her Porsche and overdue mortgage payments — including on her own home. She also allegedly used nearly $8,000 to pay restitution for a 2014 conviction for failing to pay unemployment compensation tax.

Ideology, Not Data

Studies fail to support the case against intentional communities.  Psychology Today - By Amy Lutz January 22, 2017

If stakeholders do read these studies, they will see for themselves that the movement to push all adults with I/DD into small, dispersed housing is based on ideology, not data.

 Because if the “subjective wellbeing” of my son and his peers isn’t important to Emerson, it is vitally important to them, as well as to parents such as myself, friends, providers, professionals and virtually any stranger on the street—who, if asked, would almost certainly agree that happiness is what all of us want, for all our children. Hardly a position to be dismissed as "fringe."

The Reverse Field of Dreams Fallacy in Disability Policy

Even if you don't build it, they will still come - Psychology Today - By Amy Lutz - November 28, 2021

Many states are defunding or closing intensive, disability-specific settings in favor of community-based treatment.

A recent news story featured an autistic Pennsylvania boy stranded in a hospital for months due to the lack of appropriate services.

There needs to be a continuum of care that meets the diverse needs of individuals with cognitive impairments.

Care group for 20,000 Arkansans with disabilities under investigation for Medicaid fraud - Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette - By Lara Farrar - December 2, 2021

One of the state’s largest managed care providers for Arkansans with disabilities is under investigation for Medicaid fraud, according to documents obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Empower Healthcare Solutions LLC, which serves some 20,000 people in the state who need services for behavioral health disorders or developmental disabilities, received a notice of sanctions from the state Medicaid inspector general, notifying the entity that it is being investigated for fraud.

Latest Findings Indicate Payment Incentive for Providing Primary Care in the Home Has Not Had Desired Impacts

 Mathematica - December 6, 2021

The Independence at Home (IAH) Demonstration tests whether implementing a payment incentive and delivering home based primary care leads to reductions in overall spending and improvements in quality of care for chronically ill and disabled Medicare beneficiaries. Mathematica’s evaluation of the first six years of IAH provided no compelling evidence that the IAH payment incentive reduced Medicare spending or hospital use for high-need patients of practices participating in the demonstration. 


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