Hacienda Health Care in Phoenix is under investigation for two reasons:
A woman who has been in the Center since she was 3 in a comatose state was sexually assaulted. Since the now 29-year-old woman cannot speak or move on her own, the assault was discovered when she gave birth to a baby boy on December 29, 2018. A frantic 9-1-1 call found the staff member admitting that no one at Hacienda knew that she was pregnant. The Phoenix Police Department is now investigating and has taken DNA samples from all male employees.
The Center is now under investigation for Medicaid Fraud. From 2009 to the present, Hacienda has received at least $6.7 million in Medicaid funding. The recently resigned CEO’s pay doubled between 2008 and 2017 — to $674,212 for 2017 in compensation.
A case against Hacienda is pending before the Arizona Appeals court because of its refusal to turn over financial records in response to a subpoena from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which began an investigation at Hacienda for what it has called “suspicious payments” between 2013-2014.
The executive Vice President of the Hacienda board has indicated that Hacienda would “accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation.”
Perhaps the board should have stepped in earlier — in 2016, when the first questions emerged about Medicaid payments. Where there is trouble with fraud, there is trouble because no one is watching, whether it be the employees with patients or different employees with billing. These events are tragic on so many levels. The most vulnerable among us are the victims when leaders and managers are asleep at the wheel.