A state-operated drug treatment center in Fergus Falls has been sanctioned for providing false information to state regulators and allowing unqualified staff to provide treatment, among other violations of state rules.

In an order issued this week, state officials said they found 28 rule violations at the 16-bed Community Addiction Recovery Enterprise (CARE) facility, which treats adolescents and adults with chemical dependency or substance abuse problems. The facility’s license has been placed on “conditional status” for two years as it operates under increased regulatory scrutiny.

Among the violations found, officials said the treatment center falsified a medical record delivered to regulators. During a licensing review last year, the facility claimed that adolescent patients in its nonresidential program did not attend the same groups as adults, but provided a sign-in sheet showing otherwise. Later, the facility sent a falsified document to regulators with an adolescent’s name and signature crossed out, according to the report.

Added level of scrutiny

“These findings are troubling,” Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said in a written statement. “The program has taken steps in the past few months to improve practices around maltreatment reporting, treatment planning and documentation. The conditional license will bring added scrutiny as well as guidance as we move forward.”

State regulators also found the facility’s treatment director did not know the minimum training requirements for staff serving adolescents. The treatment director also did not know that adolescent treatment plans must include coordination with the school system and address family involvement.

In addition, the CARE facility failed to meet state requirements on reporting maltreatment of patients and did not provide required annual training to staff.

The facility has been ordered by the state Department of Human Services to submit a detailed plan for monitoring compliance with state rules, provide ethics training to all staff who provide counseling services, and to submit a personnel training plan, among other changes. Under terms of the conditional license, any failure to demonstrate “substantial compliance” with state requirements could result in the facility’s license being revoked.

The Fergus Falls center is one of six state-run facilities that provide inpatient and outpatient treatment to people with substance abuse problems. In the last fiscal year, the CARE facilities and programs served 1,019 patients.


Twitter: @chrisserres