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Center could lose funding

Fairview development hospital hasn't fixed patient-care deficiencies found in investigation last year.

January 08, 2014|By Hannah Fry

The Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa stands to lose its Medicaid funding for failing to comply with federal standards outlined by the state health department during an investigation conducted last year.

The state-run hospital, which houses 322 developmentally disabled adults, is at risk of losing certification and Medicaid funding after the California Department of Public Health last year found deficiencies involving patient care identified as "immediate jeopardy situations," according to a news release.

The department also found two other state hospitals in California — the Porterville Developmental Center in Porterville and the Lanterman Developmental Center in Pomona — out of compliance.

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The health department "conducted state complaint investigations and federal recertification surveys at these facilities, documenting deficient practices and chronic systems failures in providing patient care," the release stated.

In addition to providing housing and medical services, developmental centers such as Fairview provide training and treatment for disabled residents to increase their independence and functioning skills.

The California Department of Developmental Services, or DDS, operates the centers and the health department licenses and certifies them.

Facilities are required to meet certain conditions to qualify for Medicaid, said Corey Egel, a representative for the California Department of Public Health.

The potential loss of Medicaid funding would affect 188 residents — more than half of Fairview's patient population, said DDS spokeswoman Nancy Lungren.

Fairview was found deficient in areas related to staffing and patient safety during its May evaluation.

When the health department evaluated again in September, it found the hospital noncompliant with regards to active treatment and healthcare services, Egel said.

He declined to elaborate on either evaluation or give specifics related to the deficiencies.

However, in a July report, the state auditor's office reviewed resident safety at each of the four state hospitals DDS operates and found several problems that "put residents at risk" at the Fairview facility.

The review found that healthcare staff did not always quickly notify the department's law enforcement operation, the Office of Protective Services, or OPS, about abuse allegations and that enforcement personnel did not consistently follow procedures for investigating those allegations.

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