Arlington Recovery Addiction Treatment Center
RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors today approved a $3.64
million contract with a substance abuse treatment provider to take over a
facility managed by Riverside County officials that was slapped with state
penalties last year over deficient services.
The board, without comment, signed off on the compact between Bloomington-based Cedar House Life Change Center and the county Department of Behavioral Health, which applies to the current fiscal year. An automatic renewal is set for fiscal year 2023-24 at a cost of $6.32 million, and additional renewals will be permitted in 2024-25 and 2025-26 at the same cost, as long as there’s no breach of the contract terms.
Cedar House will assume operational control of the Arlington Recovery
Center on County Farm Road in Riverside. The 54-bed drug rehabilitation and
alcohol sobering treatment center, which opened in 2021, had been managed by MFI Recovery Center Inc., but MFI was the target of an investigation by the California Department of Health Care Services, culminating in an on-site license revocation action last December.
State inspectors uncovered “deficiencies” tied to staffing and other
factors, after which the recovery center was shuttered, according to officials.
MFI and the county have since been sued by the mother of a 24-year-old
woman, Melissa Monique Bauman of Riverside, who died at the facility last
July, shortly after she checked in to receive help with drug addiction. Bauman
succumbed to a drug overdose.
Her family’s attorney, Elan Zekster, alleged in court papers that
staff members failed to conduct routine surveillance of the patient, as
required by their protocols, and that she was unconscious for an extended
period before employees came to her aid and attempted in vain to resuscitate
MFI CEO Jonathan Delgado told City News Service in February that the
company went through a shake-up afterward, with firings and other changes
intended to improve standards. MFI continues to operate private treatment
facilities in Banning, Hemet and Murrieta.
According to the Department of Behavioral Health, Cedar House was
selected after a vetting process that involved three competitors.
Under the new contract, the treatment provider will render services to
those struggling with addiction for up to 60 days at a time, though the
goal will be to promote recovery in 30 days.
“Matching treatment settings, interventions and services with
strengths, needs and preferences of the individual consumer and his or her
family is imperative,” according to the terms. “Treatment outcomes will be
assessed over time, and individualized treatment and recovery service plans
will be modified to ensure they meet the consumer’s changing needs and
Medi-Cal recipients with no other means to pay will be eligible to
receive the full range of treatment options.
The contract costs will be covered by state and federal
appropriations, with no county General Fund revenue expended, according to the Riverside University Health System.
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