On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice released an investigation about South Dakota‘s unnecessary reliance on nursing facilities to serve people with disabilities isolates those residents from their communities and violates federal law.
This investigation has discovered that about thousands of people who depend on the state for services have to live in nursing facilities to receive them. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and a U.S. Supreme Court concurred on a ruling that requires states to make these services available to people with disabilities.
Actually, about 80% of the state’s long-term services budget was found to be spent on nursing facilities, but could be rebalanced to prioritize home care and community-based services. The Justice Department said the state is required to provide services to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting, whichever is appropriate for their needs.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who is head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement that regardless of their age, people with disabilities deserve privacy, autonomy and dignity in their everyday lie.
“Our findings reveal how South Dakota’s current system of long-term care violates federal law and fails to give people with disabilities the choice to live in their own homes and their own communities,” said General Vanita Gupta.
South Dakota supports this?
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is actually defending the state’s record on helping the disabled in the wake of a highly critical U.S. Justice Department report.
Daugaard says he is proud of the state’s track record. He also said that in South Dakota they have undertaken a number of initiatives to allow more individuals to live independent lives. In addition Daugaard says this is where just in the last few years they have expanded health care recruitment programs for rural communities.
This has promoted employing people with disabilities and also implementing a Money Follows the Person program. This had increased provider rates for community-based services. Though Daugaard recognized that they still have areas to improve upon, South Dakota has been making headway.
The Justice Department reported that the state was found to have one of the highest utilization rates of nursing facilities in the country, funding about 3,400 people in nursing facilities at any given time, or approximately 5,500 people over the course of one year. By comparison, other states are able to provide services in community and home settings to similar patient groups.
The DOJ released new guidelines that prohibits corrections agencies from placing transgender inmates into men’s… https://t.co/DIxXNXZONb
— ACLU South Dakota (@ACLUSD) March 25, 2016
— Indigenous Knowledge (@ikccentre) December 31, 2015