This January, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in conjunction with the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at HHS issued a report which detailed that “health and safety policies and procedures were not being followed. Failure to comply with these policies and procedures left group home beneficiaries 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.”
The report outlined their federal investigation into these issues with critical incident reporting in group home settings for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The report details that measures are taken specifically to help improve the health, safety, and respect for the civil rights of individuals living in group homes. The joint report provides suggested model practices to the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and States for comprehensive compliance oversight of group homes to help ensure better health and safety outcomes and that critical incident reporting is compliant with federal law and obligations. In addition, the Joint Report provides suggestions for how CMS can assist States when serious health and safety issues arise that require immediate attention. For more details see report here.