Nebraska Lifts Referral Hold on 1 Boys Town Program

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The state of Nebraska lifted its hold on referrals to Boys Town’s Specialized Treatment Group Homes (TGH) Wednesday, but a referral halt to Boys Town’s Intensive Residential Treatment Center (RTC) remains in place, according to a Nebraska official. Both facilities house youths with intense emotional and behavioral problems.

Referrals to the Omaha facilities were halted Aug. 26 after an investigation found that workers were using improper physical and chemical restraints on residents – including strapping them on a gurney face down, a prone restraint that has resulted in deaths elsewhere.

Nebraska lifted the hold for the group homes after Magellan Health Services, the state’s outside contractor for Medicare and Medicaid claims, approved the TGH correction plan.

Magellan, whose investigation led to the state’s unprecedented halt in referrals, is currently reviewing RTC's proposed correction plan and expects to approve or reject it in the next couple of weeks, according to a Magellan spokesperson.  

The correction plan for the RTC, a 47-bed facility for youth with more intense needs than TGH residents, must address more serious safety threats to residents – RTC is where the gurney restraints allegedly were taking place – than the TGH plan.

The details of what information Magellan still needs from RTC are not available to the public, Jeanne Atkinson, a public information officer for Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Service, said late today. Magellan confirmed that this information is private.

Earlier coverage: Boys Town Accused of Using Improper Restraints.