Mississippi – Ripe for Personal Care Home and In-Home Care Business as the DOJ Files Lawsuit Against State for Discrimination Against the Mentally Impaired
By Ernest G. Flagg, RN, MPA. CEO
Why start a personal care home anywhere when you can start one in Mississippi, where the need for quality personal care homes is in high demand.
Well, after several visits to the great state of Mississippi licensing and certifying personal care businesses, I felt a bit strange about things in general. As if Mississippi itself had been sort of underdeveloped in a variety of aspects. I was just really comparing the state to other similar states that were close in proximity, but had seemingly run circles around the Ole Mississippi with respect to certain progression, including development. But make no mistake, I enjoyed my time there and had not receive any hint of racism. I shared this with a longtime friend, Dwayne, who had moved away from our hometown of Detroit, and had lived in MS for some years. I will never forget what he said. His remarks were, “In Mississippi’s efforts to hold Black Americans back, they did a grave disservice to the state and to themselves also.” I said, “Wow!” Now Mississippi is fighting to flip things around and they from my observation is aggressively moving into a positive direction fast.
Having licensed numerous facilities in Mississippi over the years, I can recall providers telling me that the emergency department doesn’t help the individuals with mental illness. I also remember providers remarking that it was hard to get facilities licensed as group homes, and that the system was very discriminating toward those with mental illness. There were many more conversations and statements made which echoed similar sentiments that MS was not doing what it needed to be doing for its special populations.
Another anecdotal account bare discussion. In a recent call to the state licensing department, I was attempting to identify a regulation which I was reviewing and the state agent said, “I know the reg you’re talking about, that’s for our MR or mentally retarded people.” Next, I informed her that I had looked throughout the website for the applications for Personal Care Home and Intermediate Care Facilities, but was unable to locate them on the website. Her remark was, “Our applications are not on the website…we have to mail them to you.” I might be a bit harsh, but it is incomprehensible that in the 21st century, a state agent would be referring to the developmentally disabled and intellectually developmentally disabled as “mentally retarded”. It is even more unbelievable that a licensing and certifying agency would not have its applications available on its website for easy access.
In August of 2016, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Mississippi alleging that it employed systemic discrimination against those with mental illness by violating the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. In short, the DOJ accused the state of failing to provide adults who were mentally impaired with integrated community-based mental health services. This would include services such as home and companion care agencies, adult day programs, group home, supportive employment and community access programs. Hint, hint! It gets more detailed, so I will provide the link below so you can see for yourself. Mississippi has some work to do and clearly is now welcoming change and a new way of doing things.
See DOJ lawsuit document: https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/883741/download
There exists a great need for quality personal care businesses in Mississippi. Should you desire to open a personal care home or home care agency in Mississippi, NBHS of Georgia can help you through the process from start to finish. We have done this for many others and can do the same for you.
Visit our website and self-schedule a consultation via phone, Skype or in-office to discuss making your business dream a reality. Click the link: http://www.nbhsllc.com