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Vermont settles abuse and neglect charges with care homes

September 1, 2022 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont attorney general’s office has reached a settlement with the operator of four residential care homes in the Rutland area over allegations it failed to properly train staff and adequately document and monitor the delivery of services.

In its settlement with Our House Residential Care Homes, the state’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit said Wednesday the failures resulted in the abuse and neglect of residents.

The state said its investigation that began in December 2020 found that Our House failed to do the following: properly supervise the administration of medication; protect residents from abuse; properly supervise and train staff and ensure that allegations of abuse were timely and properly reported.

The settlement requires Our House to implement new training and compliance practices. If Our House fails to meet certain standards over the next three years, it will be required to pay $40,000 in damages and penalties.

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Our House receiver Mark Stickney, who was appointed by the state last year to oversee the homes after the problems were discovered, said Thursday the facilities were already doing the things required in the settlement when the document was signed.

“Rather than argue or debate the merits with the state, I think that it made a lot more sense to just sign the settlement,” he said. “It requires us to do nothing new and spend the money on the safety and well being of the residents rather than lawyers and receiver fees.”