Federal Report Criticizes Maine for Failing to Investigate Suspicious Deaths

Feb 1, 2018

A legislative committee is considering new oversight options in response to a federal report that sharply criticized Maine for failing to investigate the deaths of Mainers with developmental disabilities in the Medicaid program.

A report from the Federal Office of the Inspector General (OIG) says the state failed to investigate the deaths of more than 130 Medicaid recipients with developmental disabilities. The OIG report found that nine of the deaths were unexplained, suspicious or untimely.

Lawmakers are looking at establishing a new board or expanding the authority of an existing oversight panel to correct the problem. Amy McMillian, acting director of the office of Aging and Disability Services says the department is acting to meet the recommendations of the OIG.

“The Department has developed a work plan in conjunction with CMS and the OIG to insure that all the findings are sufficiently addressed and that all the safeguards are effective,” McMillian said.

The State Department of Health and Human Services say it is implementing new procedures to make sure all deaths are reviewed, but committee members say the want to make sure there is adequate, independent oversight of these cases.