OIG Issues Report on Critical Incident Reporting Today
As ANCOR has been anticipating, today the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an initial report recommending improvements to incident reporting processes for group home settings by states and service providers. The report is a summary of state investigations in Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts on critical incident reporting in group home settings, and was conducted in conjunction with HHS’ Civil Rights Division and the Administration on Community Living.
People with disabilities, their families, advocates and providers offering community-based services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have fought long and hard for people with disabilities to have the opportunity to safely live, work, and be a part of their neighborhoods and communities across the United States. ANCOR’s membership is committed to ensuring that the highest quality of supports and services are available to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. No incidence of abuse or neglect – reported or unreported – is ever acceptable.
While we were pleased to see the OIG highlight the important role that group homes play in offering services and community opportunities for individuals with disabilities outside of institutional care, we believe the report overlooked some key issues. As the OIG continues their work, ANCOR urges CMS, ACL and OIG to dive deeper into how network adequacy is measured, and the impact of years of low provider reimbursement on critical quality outcomes of community inclusion and the connection between the prevention of critical incidents and the direct support professional workforce crisis. ANCOR also believes HHS should look at how alternatives to service provision, like the utilization of new technologies, can help reduce critical incidents and improve reporting.
ANCOR continues to work with our national disability partner organizations on this issue and is a lead stakeholder working with Senator Chris Murphy’s office (D-CT), who initiated the investigations, as the Senator works on legislation to address the complex issue of critical incident reporting. ANCOR stands ready to work with OIG and its interagency team to address these concerns and help to ensure the health and safety of Medicaid beneficiaries.
The American Network of Community Options and Resources is a national trade association representing more than 1,400 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to over a million individuals with disabilities with a workforce that’s over half a million strong. ANCOR advocates for the crucial role private providers play in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. www.ancor.org.