The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced it has issued a notice of termination of the Medicaid (termed Medi-Cal in California) Provider Agreement for the Department of Developmental Services at the Sonoma Developmental Center. The termination is effective 90 days from today.
CDPH took this action against the Sonoma Developmental Center Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in response to the developmental center’s failure to comply with the conditions of participation for the federal Medicaid certification program.
Federal decertification terminates SDC’s eligibility to receive Medi-Cal funds but does not impact the state license, which allows the facility to continue to operate. The Developmental Center may appeal today’s actions and, under close CDPH oversight, is expected to continue operating during the appeal. The Developmental Center may apply at a later date to receive federal funding again once corrections have been made and the facility believes they are in compliance with federal regulations.
CDPH’s actions follow the conclusion of the Sonoma Developmental Center’s Program Improvement Plan (PIP), initiated in March 2013, by mutual agreement between CDPH and DDS. The PIP stipulated actions Sonoma Developmental Center would take to achieve sustainable compliance with all eight conditions of participation in Medicaid participation to forestall termination. During a survey initiated on May 5, 2014 and concluded today, CDPH determined Sonoma Developmental Center had not met the requirements of the PIP and was not in compliance with all the Medicaid conditions of participation.
Patient safety remains CDPH’s number one concern. Sonoma Developmental Center has made improvements under the PIP. However, these have been insufficient to achieve the required level of compliance. CDPH will continue to monitor Sonoma Developmental Center to ensure the safety and preserve the rights of the vulnerable client population.
CDPH maintains a dual oversight role of state licensing and federal Medicare and Medicaid certification of California’s health care facilities. CDPH holds facilities accountable for substandard care by taking enforcement action on behalf of both the federal government and the state in order to protect the public.