Senators Petersen And Hatathlie Take Aim At Predatory Grifters Running Sober Living Homes

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On Thursday, Sen. Theresa Hatathlie brought out one of the Legislature’s big guns, Senate President Warren Petersen, to testify on behalf of her bill aimed at predatory and unlicensed sober living facilities.

Sens. Hatathlie and Petersen were also joined by Sen. Catherine Miranda, Navajo Nation leadership, and members of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus.

Hatathlie says her bill, the Comprehensive Sober Living Bill, is aimed at “addressing the $2.8 billion fraud in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and the exploitation of the most vulnerable people in Arizona.”

The bill passed out of the Arizona State Senate unanimously. Native Americans in Arizona have been a key target by the predators who run these “homes.”

Senate Bill 1655 also increases the cap on civil penalties for violation of health care institution statutes from $500 to $10,000 and allocates collected monies to prescribed sources. The bill establishes the Indigenous Peoples Protection Revolving Fund (Fund) to support resiliency and healing of indigenous peoples in Arizona, consisting of monies received from civil penalties assessed against health care institutions.

According to the Seante overview currently:

Health care institutions in Arizona are licensed and overseen by the Department of Health Services (DHS), including enforcement of health care institution statutes, rules and regulations. DHS must: 1) review and approve plans and specifications for institution construction or modification; 2) have access to books, records, accounts and any other necessary health care institution information; and 3) require nursing care institutions and assisted living facilities to provide annual influenza and pneumonia vaccines to residents. Additionally, DHS may: 1) inspect every part of a health care institution to ensure compliance with standard medical practice; 2) conduct investigations of health care institution conditions and problems with noncompliance; and 3) develop facility manuals and guides to health care institutions and the general public (A.R.S. § 36-406). Health care institutions must be in substantial compliance with state laws governing health care institutions to be licensed and avoid enforcement action by DHS (A.R.S. § 36-425).

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