CALIFORNIA: COMMITTEE BACKS INCREASED FUNDING FOR DISABLED
A state Senate budget committee approved Monday "spendingThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
more than $12 million to help improve monitoring the health of
developmentally disabled persons released from state institutions
into community homes," SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE reports. Gov.
Pete Wilson (R) "has been criticized for transferring 2,200
developmentally disabled persons" from state institutions to
community homes by mental health advocates who charge that many
patients have ended up in locations providing "substandard
medical care" and are staffed by "untrained, minimum-wage staff."
Critics cite research by the University of California at
Riverside which found that "death rates for comparable patients
were higher in the community than in the institutions" and
several studies that found that those in "group homes" were
substantially more likely to be sedated. The Wilson
administration was also criticized for its work tracking "persons
moved to community homes."
RECOMMENDATIONS: The committee recommended that Gov. Wilson
"create a directory of county-by-county medical and dental
services for the developmentally disabled" and earmarked $6.1
million for that purpose. Additionally, the committee "voted to
make it easier for the department to transfer a person back to a
state institution from a community-based home" and recommended
that the state spend $5.5 million to monitor community homes
quarterly, rather than semi-annually. The committee also
"appropriated funds to speed up the department's cataloging of
the medical condition and status of people transferred to
community homes" (Lucas/Lempinen, 4/1).