PHOENIX — The State of Arizona is requiring pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease testing on patients of a Phoenix facility where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth.
On Dec. 29, a woman, who is non-verbal and cannot move on her own, gave birth to a baby. She has been in Hacienda Healthcare's care for years. She and the baby are recovering.
An email sent from Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to Hacienda Healthcare on Jan. 7 details the state's request for security improvements along with the pregnancy and STD testing.
Some of those security improvements outlined in the Jan. 7 email include adding security cameras to hallways and implementing a visitor policy with visitor hours, a sign-in sheet and badges.
In addition, the state is forcing the facility to hire an outside manager to run its operations, official documents revealed Wednesday.
In a letter sent to the CEO of Hacienda Healthcare from top Arizona health officials, the state directs the facility to hire a third-party manager at its own cost to “monitor and oversee the operations and appropriate delivery of health care services.”
The deadline for this hire is Jan. 23—just seven days from the day the letter was sent. Additionally, the new facility manager must be in place by Jan. 30.
The AHCCCS and the Department of Economic Security will have to approve the new hire, the letter states.
The state is also asking to have unrestricted access to the third-party staff at the facility and any documentation regarding operations at the facility, according to the letter.
Hacienda Healthcare said the board is taking the letter under advisement and is considering the best possible option forward, in a statement released to 12 News by spokesperson David Leibowitz.
"We will respond to the state in short order, per the guidelines outlined by regulators," the Hacienda Healthcare statement read.
The letter was sent amid both an internal and police investigations into how a 29-year-old patient at the facility was sexually assaulted and able to carry a baby full term.
Police have issued a search warrant for the DNA of all male employees of Hacienda Healthcare. The facility has hired former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley to perform its internal review.