Maine Proposes Creation of New Type of Residential Facility for Children
Posted on May 15, 2018
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has proposed the development of Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) for children in Maine. This is dangerous backward-looking policy.
- See proposed Maine Care regulations: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/proposed.shtml#anchor795128
- See proposed Licensing regulations: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/maine-cdc-rules.shtml#anchor795617
There are public hearings for both of these proposals on May 21, 2018 at the
76 Community Drive
- 9am for the PRTF rules; and
- 1pm for the licensing rules
Written comments must be submitted by May 31, 2018.
- Written comments on the PRTF rule can be submitted electronically at: https://www1.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/rulemaking_comments.shtml?id=795128
- Written comments on the licensing rules can be submitted electronically at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/rulemaking_comments.shtml?id=795617
Maine kids with disabilities are entitled to quality services in their homes and communities!
Maine shouldn’t pay 3.5 million a year to institutionalize 20 children
- DHHS is proposing to create at least 1 psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF).
- The proposed rate is $485.72 a day or $177, 287.80 a year for each child.
- Unnecessarily institutionalizing children is discrimination and violates the American with Disabilities Act.
PRTFs are expensive and ineffective
A 5 year, 9 state study, funded by US DHHS, found that:
- Home and community based services cost 1/3 of comparable PRTF service; and had better outcomes for children; including:
- Improved school attendance and caregiver productivity
- Increased children’s behavioral and emotional strengths
- Decreased alcohol and drug use
- Promoted more stable living arrangements
- Reduced suicide attempts
- Decreased contacts with law enforcement
Hundreds of children in Maine are currently waiting for home and community based services; some as long as two years.
- According to most recent publicly available data, Maine spent $195 million on children’s community-based programs; where did it go, and what were the goals or outcomes?
- Every child admitted to a PRTF will eventually be discharged back to the home and community and will need community services, too.
- DHHS is providing no increase in home and community-based services; it is not clear how children discharged from PRTFs will be served.
- Maine needs to fix the broken children’s community system first.
- Before Maine spends any more scarce public money spent on new, ineffective and costly services, DHHS needs to do a system wide assessment and develop a strategic plan with clear outcome measures and a well-developed quality improvement program, and then implement it.