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September 17, 2008 (512) 463-0300

AUDIT FINDS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT AT DADS

(AUSTIN) -- A report from the State Auditor's Office found some deficiencies at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) with respect to informing clients about community based treatment options. While communication regarding community options has improved, documentation relating to this communication was lacking in 80 percent of case files. The auditors found that some responses used similar or canned language in filling out discussion forms, and some forms had sections filled out before the discussion about community services even took place. Additionally, 449, or 70 percent, of clients that requested transfer to a community facility from a state school were denied.

The report also found areas for improvement in responding to abuse allegations at state facilities. While 99 percent of the highest priority claims are dealt within statutory time limits, only about 60 percent of second-level priority claims meet that standard.

DADS Commissioner Adelaide Horn testified that she is satisfied that the concerns outlined in the report are being addressed, and that problems with documentation are not due to neglect but rather the nature of the documentation problems. She added that individuals who were denied transfer were denied largely because community facilities could not meet those clients behavioral or medical needs.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee is chaired by Senator Jane Nelson and vice-chaired by Senator Bob Deuell. It consists of Senators Carlos Uresti, Robert Nichols, Dan Patrick, Eliot Shapleigh, Royce West and Judith Zaffirini.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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