The state of Arizona is giving Hacienda Healthcare a choice of hiring a third-party manager or letting the Arizona Department of Health Services regulate the specialized care unit where an incapacitated patient was sexually assaulted and gave birth in December.
Hacienda Healthcare announced Thursday it would close the Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID). The decision to close the unit comes after the Hacienda failed to reach an agreement with a third-party manager to take over as the state demanded.
In a statement to 12 News, Hacienda confirmed the board voted to close the facility and had informed the state last Friday.
The state, however, is not in support of the company's decision to close the unit. In a letter released Friday morning, state officials say Hacienda Healthcare offered little detail or clarity in its plan to move forward.
The state said the health and safety of the intellectually disabled patients who live in the unit could be "adversely impacted by transitioning them to another facility." The state added that "every effort should be made to ensure that such a transition is not necessary."
"At this time the State does not have confidence that Hacienda has provided a plan that meets this test," the letter reads.
State officials said it was never their desire to see the ICF-IID shut down and at this time "does not consent" in Hacienda Healthcare ceasing operations of the unit.
"The State’s primary objective is to ensure that the residents are living in a safe environment and are provided appropriate care by qualified individuals in a manner that is safe and that fully addresses the residents’ needs and the choices of the residents and their families," the state said in the letter.
MORE: Read the full letter
In the letter, the state gave Hacienda Healthcare a deadline of 4 p.m. Friday to provide more information regarding the decision to close the unit. The letter instructs Hacienda to answer the following questions by the deadline:
• Was the vote of the Hacienda Board of Directors to formally and unconditionally close the ICF-IID? If the vote was conditional, please provide the conditions. Please provide the State with a copy of the Board resolution.
• How does this decision comply with paragraph 5 of Hacienda’s contract with DES (ADES 18- 00007493) which states: “5. Contract Changes. The Contractor shall not terminate the operations of the ICF/IID institution without the prior written consent of the Department during the term of this Contract.”
• Does Hacienda intend the letter of February 6, 2019, to serve as its notice to DES/DDD that it is terminating its contract with DES (ADES 18-00007493)? If not, please provide a specific date by which that notice of termination will be sent.
• With respect to the ICF-IID, Hacienda notified the Arizona Department of Health Services of its plan to close the facility; however it did not indicate its intent to relinquish its Medicare/Medicaid certification as required by 42 C.F.R. 438.75, nor was the notice sufficient. Please provide a specific date by which that notice will be sent.
The state is also giving Hacienda Healthcare two options saying it's "anxious to facilitate a solution that ensures the ongoing safety of residents while moving forward."
The two options the state presented Hacienda:
• Hire a third-party manager as initially instructed
• Let the Arizona Department of Health Services regulate the facility, bringing it back under the DHS control after more than two decades.