CMS Decertifies a Section at Rainier School

March 11, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) notified the state that it is decertifying one of three facilities at Rainier School residential habilitation center in Buckley.

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has been working to address longtime concerns in its three facilities at Rainier School, called Program Area Teams or PATs. The decertification impacts PAT A. Through settlement agreements with CMS, DSHS maintained Rainier School’s PAT E certification. The agency is also in the midst of another settlement agreement for Rainier School’s PAT C and expects to learn soon the results of its most recent survey.

While in the process of enhancing several PATs statewide, DSHS recognized that sustaining certification for this particular PAT would be a challenge. We know we’re better able to meet the unique needs of the residents at our other facilities. Although certification would have allowed us to continue receiving federal funding for all our residents while we go through this transition, it doesn’t disrupt any of our current and ongoing efforts at PAT A.

Last fall, we started the process of transitioning residents from PAT A to other facilities better able to meet the specific needs of the 90 adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who currently reside at PAT A. To ensure people receive services appropriate to their needs, DSHS identified and began transitioning approximately 45 people from Rainier School PAT A to settings more appropriate. For example, some residents do not benefit from continuous training and are better served in nursing facilities.

DSHS has offered placement options at other RHCs that provide nursing services as well as other community placements. Community choices to clients include:

  • State Operated Living Alternatives (SOLA);
  • Supported living;
  • Adult family homes; and
  • Companion homes.

Other RHC options include Fircrest School in Shoreline and Lakeland Village near Spokane. Residents and staff sometimes move between the RHCs at different points in their lives, depending on their needs or preferences.

Every family and guardian will have the ability to obtain more information and decide what option will be in the best interest of their loved one.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like additional information.

Evelyn Perez, Developmental Disabilities Administration Assistant Secretary

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