PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- On the same day we learned that maggots were found on a Hacienda Healthcare patient, state health officials announced they were considering revoking Hacienda's license.
On Friday evening, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced it had issued a "Notice of Intent" to revoke the license of Hacienda Healthcare.
ADHS released the following statement:
"This evening, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) issued a Notice of Intent to Revoke the license of the Hacienda De Los Angeles' Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (Hacienda ICF-IID). Based on findings from a recent survey and an extremely disturbing incident involving inadequate patient care that was reported to and investigated by ADHS this week, the Department has determined strong and immediate action is necessary to further protect the Hacienda ICF-IID residents.
The Notice of Intent to Revoke allows for the Department to have increased accountability and oversight of the facility and does not mean Hacienda must immediately shut down. ADHS will continue to work with the Hacienda ICF-IID to ensure there is no interruption of services. The Notice does not impact other facilities managed by Hacienda Healthcare, Inc.
While this action is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the residents at Hacienda, ADHS understands this may cause concern to the families with loved ones at the Hacienda ICF-IID as this is the only home many of the patients have known. ADHS staff will be on site at the Hacienda ICF-IID and working with other state agencies to make sure that patients and families are receiving the quality and compassionate care they deserve.
The health and safety of the residents of the Hacienda ICF-IID remain a top priority of ADHS. The State's goal is to ensure they continue to live in a safe environment and maintain the continuity of care for these vulnerable residents."
Earlier in the day Friday, ADHS and other state agencies launched a probe related to patient safety at Hacienda HealthCare after maggots were found on a man receiving care there.
Staff at Hacienda alerted state officials after maggots were discovered Wednesday around a surgical opening called a stoma in the patient's throat, according to a Hacienda spokesman. A stoma is an opening for a tracheostomy tube.
The 28-year-old patient was in the Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, according to Arizona Department of Health Services spokesman Chris J. Minnick.
The patient was taken to a hospital Wednesday for evaluation and returned to Hacienda the same day, according to Hacienda spokesman David Leibowitz.
Leibowitz said "a few" maggots were in the patient's bandages and near the incision. He said the insects did not enter the patient's trachea.
Despite the intervention, more maggots were discovered on the patient's neck Thursday at Hacienda and he was taken back to the hospital, Leibowitz said.
As of Friday, the patient had not returned to Hacienda.
Arizona's Family's inside source said when she heard about maggots found at the surgical opening of a 28-year-old patient's throat, it jogged her memory to many years ago.
“We had a patient that had a wound on her leg,” she said.
Se said maggots got in that patient's wound, which is the only other time she recalls this happening.
But she said with that incident, they realized how fast maggots could hatch from eggs.
“The fly can land, the maggots can hatch between dressings,” she said. “Those individuals would have care every 12 hours, every shift.”
Our source said she's not surprised they were found in that area on his body.
“Constant movement in the area, cleaning secretions, changing the dressing, changing the tubing, there is always something there that could cause it to bleed a little,” she said.
She said this patient was in the ICF unit, and his medical case is severe.
“He’s extremely limited. He’s totally dependent on care,” she said.
“Would you call it similar to the patient that was raped and gave birth?” asked reporter Briana Whitney.
“Yes,” she said.
Arizona's Family was the first to report the maggot issue Friday, one day after Phoenix police released hundreds of pages of documents related to its investigation of a nurse accused of raping a paralyzed and mentally disabled patient. The patient gave birth in December, without anyone on the staff knowing she was pregnant.
After the discovery of the maggots, Leibowitz said Hacienda staff members examined every patient with a surgical incision and have found no other issues.
"We're looking at all the possible ways this could have happened," said Leibowitz. "Multiple agencies and multiple medical providers have surveyed the facility and there have been no additional findings against the facility."
Exterminators visited the facility twice and a contractor is working to install blower fans on exterior doors to keep insects from entering the facility, he said. Maggots are the larvae of flies. Leibowitz said the working hypothesis is that a fly entered the building and laid eggs.
A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Health Services said Hacienda alerted the state agency about the issue.
"The highest priority of ADHS is to ensure the health and safety of all patients at the facility. ADHS surveyors are currently on site at Hacienda conducting an investigation," Minnick said. "ADHS cannot discuss any details about an ongoing investigation."
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Other state agencies, including the Arizona Department of Economic Security, were involved in the probe.
"DES is aware of potential issues related to the medical care of a patient at Hacienda Healthcare. Our staff is onsite (sic) and is working with its sister agencies, DHS and AHCCCS, to conduct an investigation. The Department is not able to discuss this matter as it is an ongoing investigation," said spokeswoman Tasya Peterson.
An Arizona's Family reporter who visited Hacienda HealthCare Friday noted that the large sign outside the facility had been removed. Leibowitz said the sign was taken down "for security reasons," but he declined to elaborate.
A smaller Hacienda sign remains on the facility's front wall.