The Columbus Organization has worked with more than 140 state and local agencies in 42 states including agencies that faced regulatory, certification, and litigation issues.
We have achieved positive outcomes involving re-certification of ICF programs, successful closure of class action and United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) litigation, all while improving the quality of life for thousands of citizens.
The Columbus Organization worked with the State of New Mexico Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Supports Division from 1999 to 2017, serving as Project Director and Internal Compliance on the, Jackson v. Ft. Stanton litigation.
The Columbus Organization was retained to assist a private sector provider avoid ICF-DD decertification after an unanticipated death and major deficient practices were identified by the state regulatory agency.
In September of 2016, The Columbus Organization was contacted by a private provider in New Mexico in response to concerns from the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) related to the quality of the services the provider was providing as well as the perception that the providers clients were in danger. In response to this concern, The Columbus Organization entered into an agreement to act as the independent fact-finding contractor. In this role, The Columbus Organization worked with the provider to evaluate the validity of the allegations and to address issues such as quality assurance, environment of care, health and safety and training. The Columbus Organization conducted an initial review of services and systems. This review included a staffing analysis which focused on turnover, vacancies, overtime, and Direct Support Professional (DSP) deployment (shift coverage). It also considered the provider’s performance evaluation efforts. The Columbus Organization team provided recommendations related to staffing including developing new strategies to reduce overtime based on improved mechanisms for data collection and analysis; more information specific to departments on turnover reports; breaking down information on turnover in Community Living by site and shift; analyzing the information in the reports to pinpoint high turnover departments, positions, and shifts to identify causes; developing action steps to reduce turnover; developing and implementing Exit Interviews for staff separations; analyzing exit interview data and data collected from other instruments on a variety of factors; examining ways to reduce overtime; and reviewing and modifying interview questions. This initial review has been followed up with an ongoing monitoring agreement.
The Columbus Organization professionals served as the independent monitoring team assessing compliance with the DOJ Settlement Agreements at the New Lisbon and Woodbridge Developmental Centers. DOJ dismissed the suit at New Lisbon based on The Columbus Organization monitoring team members’ findings of compliance with provisions of the Settlement Agreement.
In 2005, The Columbus Organization was engaged by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to assist them in their response to the anticipated investigation of its state operated facilities by the US DOJ.
From 2005 to 2014, The Columbus Organization assisted the agency in negotiating the provisions of a Settlement Agreement on institutional conditions with DOJ, provided technical assistance, training, comprehensive assessments, and baseline monitoring of state facilities.
Between 2004 and 2009, The Columbus Organization assisted the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities with the operation and certification of its state operated ICFs.
This engagement followed receipt of negative survey findings from the state ICF/DD licensing team that precipitated future visits by DOJ at Bellefontaine Habilitation Center in St. Louis. Based on improvements made by the Center and The Columbus Organization, the DOJ did not pursue litigation or a Settlement Agreement at Bellefontaine. The Columbus Organization supported Bellefontaine’s Human Resource, Investigative, Risk Management, Quality Assurance, Active Treatment, Behavioral Services, and Human Rights Committee functions.
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