Public records show state was aware of problems at plagued group home
BATON ROUGE - Nearly a month after an alleged fall sent a resident of a group home to the hospital with bruises and broken bones, public records released by the state show problems the state investigated there.
A group home located on Brookshire Avenue is where Rebecca Jacocks was left badly injured. The home is owned by Rescare.
Records obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit show the state has been looking into problems there for at least a year.
Most recently, a letter sent by the Louisiana Department of Health stated due to "deficient practices found to exist, the Brookshire Avenue Group Home no longer qualifies as a provider of services in the Medicaid program." The letter cites "Client Protections" and "Facility Staffing" as items that were out of compliance.
The state says that letter is the first step at taking action against the home. However, they have 90 days to get into compliance.
Other problems noted in the records date back to a year ago. In August 2018 the provider failed to ensure that results of an abuse allegation were reported within five working days. One year later, a client was found on the floor unresponsive at 5:30 in the morning. Paramedics were not contacted for almost an hour and a half.
Last year, WBRZ exposed Caleb Sharp's story. He was a 22-year old living in a group home run by Rescare in Tangipahoa Parish. Sharp's lawyers filed a lawsuit claiming he was physically beaten, urinated on and sexually assaulted. His case led to the arrests of two group home workers.
"Rescare is responsible for hiring qualified employees and training them to care for people with special needs," Sharp's lawyer Scott Mansfield said. "Rescare hires unqualified workers and families trust these people to care for their loved ones with special needs and Rescare has failed them."
We reached out to Rescare, now known as BrightSpring Health Services, and a public relations firm released the following:
"We take the care and services we provide our clients very seriously, including any allegations of misconduct by employees or unsatisfactory reports. Maintaining a strong record of care and compliance is a critical component of serving our clients. Due to confidentiality requirements, we are unable to provide additional details about any individual's care or condition—past or present. However, we work diligently to submit corrective action plans to the state, addressing any issues as quickly and thoroughly as possible to ensure we can provide the safe, caring environment our clients and staff deserve."