Hacienda HealthCare investigation: Alleged financial fraud at facility under scrutiny

Probe into Hacienda HealthCare rape case

A former top prosecutor in Phoenix will investigate what happened at a long-term care center where a patient who's spent most of her life in a vegetative state recently gave birth. Hacienda HealthCare hired former Maricopa County prosecutor Rick Romley to lead an internal investigation into the facility and Phoenix police also launched a criminal investigation into who raped the patient last year.

Hacienda HealthCare's board of directors said Romley will have access to all aspects of the facility's operations and procedures to help him figure out how a woman was raped and impregnated without the staff knowing, reports CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal. Romley said he wants to make sure this never happens again.

"It will be my recommendation that as much information that can come out will come out," Romley said. He said his review of Hacienda HealthCare will include examining the facility's management practices, culture, and security, including the usage of surveillance cameras, door locks, and security guards.
 
"I'll be looking at their safety audits, I'll be looking at complaints, I'll be looking at their protocols," Romley said.
 
He said he will try to speak with Hacienda's former chief executive, Bill Timmons, who resigned last week following reports of the birth.

"It never should've happened," said Timothy Jeffries, who was director of Arizona's lead social services agency until 2016. Jeffries said he asked Gov. Doug Ducey to shut down Hacienda after a 2015 audit revealed concerns of financial fraud including the facility's annual average cost of care. The report said it totaled $386,000 per client in 2012 – nearly three times the national average of $134,000.

"This is a failure of the worst and gravest kind, and it's a failure that was avoidable," Jeffries said. "But at the very least, seniors at Hacienda… at the attorney general's office, and the governor and his team should have protected her."
 
Jeffries was forced to resign in 2016 due to alleged mismanagement. It's a claim he denies.

The Arizona attorney general's office says their probe into Hacienda's finances closed in 2017 due to lack of evidence. Ducey's office said it acted on concerns Jeffries raised about Hacienda, but the state is still working to obtain the financial records.

Staff at the facility said they were unaware that the 29-year-old woman patient was pregnant until she went into labor. During a five-minute 911 call, a caller from Hacienda said, "We had no idea that this patient was pregnant."

"Does she know how far along she was or anything?" the dispatcher asked.

"We have no idea. This was a complete surprise. We were not expecting this," the caller responded.

Staff members revived the baby boy after giving him chest compressions.

"The baby's breathing? Oh, the baby's breathing! Oh, my God. Thank God," the caller could be heard saying.