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Federal Inspectors Give Oakwood Mixed Reviews

SOMERSET, KY -- Three of four facilities at The Communities of Oakwood passed a federal inspection this week, an important step toward regaining about $42 million in federal funding, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Sunday edition.

State officials told the Herald-Leader the fourth facility at the state’s largest home for the mentally handicapped was given a Type A citation -- the most serious kind -- for failing to protect a resident from neglect. The resident, who has a history of hurting herself, had an injury under her eye at the time of the inspection, state officials said.

Vikki Franklin, a spokesperson for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said the fourth facility, where 62 residents live, will continue to operate while state and federal officials determine its future, reports the newspaper.

“It’s a bit of uncharted territory for us,” Franklin said. The fourth facility probably will have to pass a new series of inspections, but “we just don’t know what the process will be.”

The state is awaiting a post-inspection report from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which had inspectors at the Somerset campus all last week. The report is expected to detail the federal agency’s plans and when a new inspection of the fourth facility might occur, she said.

Federal inspectors are likely to return in 30 to 120 days for a second look at the three facilities that passed last week’s inspection, Franklin said. Federal funding to those three might be restored if they do well on the second inspection, the newspaper reports.

Despite the uncertainty over the fourth facility, the results of last week’s inspection were considered a good sign, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“I’m hopeful that we’re heading down the right road,” said cabinet Secretary Janie Miller.

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