Lawmaker Charges Agencies With Improperly Transferring Patients
Assembly member Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) on Monday charged state institutions with moving developmentally disabled patients to community-based care in order to fill an illegal quota, MediaNews/Contra Costa Times reports. State officials denounced the charges and said that the process abides by state law.
Evans sent a letter to the state Department of Developmental Services that challenged its contract with North Bay Regional Center, one of the not-for-profit facilities that manages care for developmentally disabled patients on behalf of the state.
North Bay is required through its contract to move eight patients from Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge into community care by Jan. 1, 2007. Evans said it is likely that all of the state's regional centers have been following the same procedure.
Transferring patients is against state law, as centers are intended to develop individual care plans for its patients, not transfer them into private care homes, Evans said.
However, state officials said the transferring is done for budgetary reasons. Centers will calculate how many patients they can treat and ask for state funding to transfer the remainder into community care homes.
"I don't think I have encountered such an irresponsible, baseless and inappropriate set of accusations by a member of the legislature," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshé.
Evans has asked state Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to get involved in the issue (Marcucci, MediaNews/Contra Costa Times, 10/27).