Mexia: State Supported Living Center Makes Improvements, But Still Has Work To Do

By: Brittany Semadeni Email
By: Brittany Semadeni Email

MEXIA (August 23, 2013)--After entering into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2009, the state says the Mexia State Supported Living Center is working to make improvements to its services.

A report recently released shows specific changes made since implementation of the agreement.

The agreement requires the state to ensure that state supported living centers do not substantially depart from the generally accepted professional standards of care.

The state has 13 facilities and none are exempt.

While the Mexia center is not required to be fully compliant with all 171 provisions that fall under 20 categories, Department of Aging and Disability Services Public Information Officer Melissa Gale said Thursday the facility is now in compliance with 42 provisions outlined in the document.

To carry out the agreement, a group of monitors have been assigned to visit the facilities every six month and provide their findings and recommendations.

An expert team accompanies the monitors, which generally consists of consultants with expertise in psychiatry and medical care, nursing, psychology, habilitation, protection from harm, individual planning, physical and nutritional supports, occupational and physical therapy, communication, consent, or record keeping.

The monitors are looking for 100 percent compliance in 20 areas, Gale said.

The latest review, the facility's 6th, was conducted in June of this year and details the organization's progress and areas for improvement.

Significant improvements include accurately assessing at-risk individuals through the implementation of training and action plans, improved psychiatric care and services, nursing care, nutritional management, dental services, minimizing the number of restraints used, quality assurance and record keeping.

No significant progress was noted in the areas of integrated clinical services, common elements of clinical care, incident follow up and pharmacy services.

A decline was noted in the areas of physical and occupational therapy and communication.

Although the center has had a history of high turnover, Gale says the facility has seen significant improvements since the addition of a new medical director and other full-time positions.

"Merely counting the number of substantial compliance ratings to determine if the facility is making progress does not provide the most accurate measure of progress. Not all provisional items are equal in weight or complexity. Some require significant systemic change to a number of processes, whereas others require only the facility to implement a single action," Gale said.


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