It’s not often that the Washington Department of Social and Help Services shuts down and in-home care agency, but that’s exactly what happened 16 months ago. Now, the sister company of the one that had been shut down, Aacres Washington, is under scrutiny.
Aacres Washington apparently took over the supporting care of many of those clients, a significant number of them being vulnerable adults. Now the state’s Developmental Disabilities Administration, which is a division of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, announced that it would be ending one of the three contracts it has with Aacres Washington.
According to the announcement, this is due to “a number of incidents,” which included the death of a client in their care back in February.
According to OPB in its blog, Troubles Resurface For Washington In-home Care Provider After Client Death, written by Austin Jenkins:
“Aacres Washington took over after DSHS decertified SL Start and Associates in April last year. The company was providing in-home care for more than 200 developmentally disabled adults in King, Yakima and Spokane counties, until serious violations that “jeopardized clients’ health, safety and welfare,” according to the state, prompted the decertification and transfer of clients to Aacres Washington.
Both care providers are subsidiaries of Spokane-based Embassy Management LLC which is owned by Bregal Partners, a private equity firm. The transition sparked outcry from some families and disability advocates.”
Under the contract that will apparently be terminated, Aacres Washington, operating in Spokane County, was providing direct in-home care to 60 clients who are developmentally disabled. There was no immediate word on what types of support services were provided by this home care company, but the state was paying Aacres Washington almost $700,000 per month for the services.
According to the assistant secretary for the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Evelyn Perez, in a written statement, “We have lost confidence in Aacres Spokane. Not being in compliance with regulations and ensuring the health and safety of our clients is unacceptable.”
While this news may surprise some, it is no surprise to others. In a series of business moves that was ultimately controlled by a private equity firm, Bregal Partners, the company had already been under scrutiny for violations that “jeopardized clients’ health, safety and welfare,” according to state officials.
When these acquisitions occurred, there was frustration and outcry from some concerned parties and despite their warnings and admonitions, the situation may have been as dire and unfortunate as they worried, ultimately leading to the death of a client in this company’s care.
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