WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released a statement on Wednesday on a report released by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal partners that outlines suggested best practices for states to ensure better health and safety outcomes for developmentally disabled residents of group homes. The report released today comes after Murphy requested, in March 2013, an investigation into the number of deaths and cases of abuse at group homes for developmentally disabled individuals. The Hartford Courant originally reported widespread neglect and abuse of developmentally disabled residents at group homes.
“I refuse to accept the status quo of a system that so egregiously fails the people it was meant to protect,” said Murphy. “These residents are society's most vulnerable — they need us to speak up because they sometimes can’t speak up for themselves. I hope this report will provide a roadmap for states to clean up their acts and enhance compliance. They clearly still have a lot more work to do, which is why I’m working on legislation to prevent this kind of terrible abuse from ever happening again.”
Previous OIG reports requested by Murphy found that states did not comply with requirements for reporting and monitoring critical incidents involving developmentally disabled residents of group homes. The reports also identified staff failure to comply with reporting and monitoring critical incidents due to inadequate training and lack of access to appropriate Medicaid claims data.