Nebraska Receives What Might Be Final Report on DOJ Settlement Agreement for Beatrice Center

The settlement agreement followed a troubled period in BSDC history that included on-site reviews of BSDC by the U.S. Department of Justice and Disability Rights Nebraska. Additionally, after decades of regulatory challenges that began in 1990, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decertified and discontinued funding for BSDC. “We’ve had a very collaborative and positive relationship with the DOJ legal counsel and the Independent Expert team and believe this case will conclude successfully in the near future,” said Fenner.  “We understand DOJ is currently reviewing internally whether it will consent to dismissal of continuing court oversight.  I’m hopeful for a decision in the next few months.”

According to the report’s executive summary, since signing the Settlement Agreement with DOJ in 2008, the state has shown its commitment to implementing the requirements of the agreement and states, in part:  “These actions have resulted in many improvements that have positively impacted the protections, supports and services available to individuals at BSDC and the Bridges Program, as well as those individuals that transitioned to the community…The achievement of these goals has only been possible through strong teamwork and the dedication of many staff.”

Kerry Winterer, CEO of DHHS, stated:  “In addition to the hard work and dedication of Director Fenner and her staff, the Department wants to recognize and thank Governor Heineman and the Legislature for their efforts in supporting improvements to BSDC and community services during this time.  This has been a long journey and shows what can be accomplished when everyone is working together toward the same goal.”