Feds to retain oversight of Ga. behavioral health system

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-03 18:06:00-04

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal officials will retain oversight of Georgia's behavioral health system after the failure to move enough developmentally disabled people out of state-run hospitals.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities was supposed to move 750 people out of state institutions into community homes as part of a 2010 agreement with the Department of Justice. The newspaper reports about 500 people have been moved from state facilities.

The settlement with federal officials came after patient deaths and allegations of abuse.

The newspaper reports the department suspended patient transfers after allegations surfaced that they were being abused in their new homes and had limited access to medical care.

The department's Chief of Staff Judy Fitzgerald says officials have acknowledged more preparation for patient transfers was necessary.