Plan to correct mentally ill housing presented to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval
After inspecting 142 Community Based Living Arrangement homes last weekend, the head of Nevada’s Health and Human Services says none of the residents had to be removed because of immediate health or safety risks.
But Richard Whitley advised Gov. Brian Sandoval a number of providers were put on 10-day and 30-day corrective plans. He said corrective plans for the program call for numerous changes and improvements to fix problems that have been well known for nearly two years.
CBLA homes are state-supported community living residences for mentally ill adults.
Auditors found serious violations in many of the homes, violations that have persisted for years in some cases. That prompted Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, to comment the state was “basically paying slumlords to warehouse mental illness.”
The actions to be taken within 10 days, he said, include conducting a review of investigative reports from July and comparing them to an analysis of the same homes. Auditors reported last week agency investigators failed to include multiple violations they observed on many of the homes.
Whitley’s proposed corrective action plan points out poor home inspections by health staff, “have resulted in undocumented deficiencies, lack of corrective action and continued proliferation of unsafe and unsanitary conditions.” The 30-day correction plan calls for mandatory staff training and better documentation of unsafe practices, medication management and overall quality of life issues.
It also calls for an evaluation of whether it would make more sense to have health care quality and compliance conduct those investigations and monitor those homes. That way, case workers would no longer be responsible for both placing clients and inspecting the homes.
It says the state should create tiered sanctions for infractions from the minor problems to suspension or revocation of certification.
The plan calls for training and requirements to ensure staff in the homes can communicate with the clients. Auditors said in several cases, the staff at homes was unable to speak English well enough to deal with the clients.