State-run developmental center in Dixon will not lose Medicare funding despite citations

By Chicago 3 Min Read

DIXON — A state-operated residential facility that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will not lose Medicare funding despite receiving recent citations from state surveyors for failing to protect its residents from harm.

Mabley Developmental Center in Dixon has two pending “immediate jeopardy” citations from the Illinois Department of Public Health in connection with resident physical abuse and failure to properly address the spread of a bacterial infection at the facility.

An immediate-jeopardy tag is applied to a facility under federal rules when surveyors determine that a situation requires “immediate corrective action” to prevent severe injury or death.

An immediate-jeopardy tag can result in the loss of Medicare funding for the facility.

State-operated developmental centers, like Mabley, get approximately 50 percent of their funding from Medicare.

Mabley was scheduled to lose federal funding Wednesday unless the Illinois Department of Human Services, which runs it, filed a remediation plan.

Tonya Piephoff, director of the human services department’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, said Friday that the corrective-action plan has been submitted, but the immediate-jeopardy citation is only purged after a re-inspection from the health department to ensure the mitigations outlined in it are underway. The two agencies can negotiate the plans until they are accepted.

Human Services officials confirmed Wednesday that the re-inspection — which must be done on a surprise basis — has not yet occurred, but it must happen by Oct. 10.

“While IDHS cannot discuss details while the corrective plans await final approval, we can share that immediate steps have been taken,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Those actions include, but are not limited to, implementation of increased infection control measures and training, and increased rounds and observation to ensure effective implementation.”

The facility received an immediate-jeopardy tag after the state health agency found that Mabley staff did not respond effectively to an outbreak of Shigella bacteria.

It also received a citation in relation to the abuse of a non-verbal patient found in their bed with bruises to their groin and pelvic area, as if “they had been kicked in the groin repeatedly.”

The facility previously was tagged June 8 in an incident involving a peer-to-peer sexual assault. That tag was removed in late June.

On July 11, the health agency’s surveyor verified that the remediation plan had been initiated.

The Mabley Developmental Center was named for Chicago Tribune columnist Jack Mabley, who created the Forgotten Children’s Foundation, a charity that helped support the center.

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