One of Kentucky’s largest centers for the mentally disabled will likely lose federal funding soon – and the state will have to pick up the tab. The Communities at Oakwood in Somerset has been under fire since a state investigation into two incidents, one of which involved the death of a patient, in 2005.
The facility was found to be a serious threat to the health and safety of its patients, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowed federal funding to continue through the appeals process. The appeal failed, and now CMS says federal funding to the center will stop in less than two weeks. Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesperson Vikki Franklin says that means the financial burden will fall to the cash-strapped Commonwealth.
“The state will have to cover the Medicaid portion of the funding that was previously paid for by the federal government. Of course, it is a very difficult budget time, but the burden of the money will fall to the state,” said Franklin.
Medicaid funding to the facility is about $5 million dollars a month – $3.5 million of which had been paid by the federal government. Meanwhile, Oakwood is working to get re-certified for CMS funding.