Minnesota Human Services Dept. criticized over its residencies for vulnerable adults

  • Article by: Brad Schrade , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 28, 2013 - 5:33 PM

Audit criticizes Department of Human Services for problems at facilities for those with mental illness, disabilities and addictions.

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EleanoreFeb. 27, 13 8:50 AM

"inadequate placement options following discharge." - A serious question, "is this a state responsibility?" if people are being released why is the state still involved. I know noting about this but would appreciate some information to compliment the news story.

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jimmyjames76Feb. 27, 13 9:36 AM

Most of those problems sound like staffing issues. Increased physical assaults by patients, and inadequate psychiatric staffing are problems that result from not having enough funding to hire adequate staff. I'm guessing frequent leadership changes are also a result of not having enough funding and staff to do the job properly. I wouldn't want to be the leader of an organization that's doomed to fail because of insufficient funding. I'm not sure if the facilities can really be criticized for inadequate placement options after discharge either. Unless the employees are expected to take the mentally ill home with them. You can't fix everything by throwing money at it, and they should look at ways to solve the problems with existing resources, but I have a feeling the regular cuts to facilities like this are the bigger problem. Remember when T-Paw decided to put sex offenders in state run nursing homes because he didn't think funding these facilities was necessary? You can only make decisions like that for so long before it comes back to bite you. Lawmakers should receive the majority of the blame for these issues.

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EleanoreFeb. 27, 1310:11 AM

Why does a simple question get any thumbs down much less three? y'all want the world to remain ignorant? or does asking questions shine light on some unsupportable political agenda?

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EleanoreFeb. 27, 1310:26 AM

"I'm not sure if the facilities can really be criticized for inadequate placement options after discharge either" - I don't understand this part either, yet apperently asking the question is somehow bad, we are just expected by at least 5 thumbs downers to simply accept that the state should be responsible, and should be criticized in this reguard. I don't understand why I should believe that opinion. Seems a perfectly logical question.

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th3171Feb. 27, 1311:00 AM

Elenore-great idea for you. Go to the OLA website and read the report.

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mnfishFeb. 27, 1311:20 AM

Maybe it's a good thing we are locking them up for "longer than necessary." Remember, it is mental illness that contributes to horrific mass shootings. Start letting them out of the loony bin and that statistic may get some unwelcome support.

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keychaFeb. 27, 1311:33 AM

Bottom line folks, the state continues to reduce reimbursements for those placement options. There is no free market for mental health services, all providers are dependent on donations, endowments, and grants from foundations to keep the doors open. The counties and state barely compensate the staff costs for direct contact, let alone any support staff. Another example of the public placing an unfunded expectation on government which is than passed on as social charity which can only do so much.

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countrygentFeb. 27, 1311:34 AM

When the decision was made to integrate residents with mental illness back into the community in 4 bedroom suburban housing, they closed mental facilities that housed them. We need to revisit this decision and also the criteria used to confine or release these adults.

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cyberpunkFeb. 27, 1311:43 AM

Just because a person is released from a state hospital, that doesn’t mean they are entirely competent to take care of themselves. It only means they no longer need the level of care associated with in-patient hospitalization. Ergo it is better for the patient, not to mention less expensive to treat them, if they get out of the hospital and into a “placement” which is a place like a group home or residential treatment facility. Is this a state responsibility? It is, unless you think it’s preferable for the disabled and mentally ill to fend for themselves and let society at large deal with the consequences. Even though placing people in group homes or residential treatment carries a cost it beats all of the alternatives, like re-hospitalization or having people end up in the criminal justice system.

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moccacoFeb. 27, 1311:48 AM

Eleanore asked... ""inadequate placement options following discharge." - A serious question, "is this a state responsibility?" if people are being released why is the state still involved." Many of the individuals are not able to return to the community without additional services. If they are discharged without services, they are more than likely to return to the hospital. Many of the individuals released qualify for waiver services. The services are much cheaper than hospitalization. Jimmy said.... "Most of those problems sound like staffing issues. Increased physical assaults by patients, and inadequate psychiatric staffing are problems that result from not having enough funding to hire adequate staff." The typical staff at any state run facility is adequately paid. They also have psychiatrist and physicians on staff. The major problem is state statutes that limit community providers from opening up additional programs that would ultimately save the state copious amounts of money. The state and counties could care less about savings. They will simply continue to demand more money for a model that needs much improvement. There's no sense in stepping on a dime to pick up a nickle, but the government doesn't 'save' money, they spend money.

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