Disposable human beings

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Feds: DSHS neglected disabled to cut costs, may owe $16M | Local News | The Seattle Times.

You can’t open a newspaper these days without reading about budget cuts to Federal, State, and City services.  Memos are flying around these offices demanding across the board reductions or else!

The State of Washington figured out a way to save more than one million dollars and its Department of Social and Health Services is the brainchild of this impressive savings coup: deprive those with developmental disabilities the required services mandated by law that help them to function better in society.  The required services include physical and occupational therapy, personal-care training, speech therapy, guided behavioral norms, job skills, and recreation.

Two dozen developmentally disabled residents of Lakeland Village in Spokane, Washington – a state and federally funded long-term care facility – were denied these services for two years – most likely causing irreparable damage to these residents.  Let’s see – two dozen residents for two years – how many times was the law broken as a result?

41,231 times

How did they pull it off?  They moved a couple dozen residents from the intermediate-care facility of Lakeland Village into its nursing facility which is cheaper because that part of the facility does not have to provide the specialized services that the developmentally disabled residents need.  The relocated men and women received excellent medical care – most of which wasn’t called for – but they were deprived of all the quality-of-life services they needed most.  This violation of federal law means that the facility received federal funds in error – funds that were meant to cover legally mandated services at the facility.

When the investigation was launched and DSHS was told to provide documentation for the time period in question, there was little evidence that the specialized services had been provided.  In response, DSHS stated, “We didn’t make good documentation, or indeed, we didn’t provide some of them (documents).”  It is thought that the reason the paperwork wasn’t found, is that it doesn’t exist.

The State tried to cut its budget by $1 million by fraudulently withholding required care services.  The investigation continues while it is estimated that the federal government will penalize the State of Washington/the Department of Social and Health Services in the amount of $16 million.

English: Garbage bins in a row, during prepara...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But you and I already know that the biggest price has already been paid by the disposed of human beings.

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