DSHS seeks recertification at a residential habilitation center in Buckley

Release Date: 
May 22 2018
DSHS Office of Communications
Kelly Stowe

OLYMPIA – The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) announced today that it will appeal the decertification of a portion of Rainier School in Buckley, a residential habilitation center for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Last spring, surveyors from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) placed one of Rainier School’s units that houses 85 residents in a ‘denial of payment’ status for failure to meet federal requirements relating to skills training, program oversight and client health and safety; such as ensuring dietary restrictions are followed. While in this status, CMS will not provide federal funding for new clients and the state has not admitted any new clients. The decertification does not affect services and programs for the current residents.

“The health and well-being of the residents at Rainier School is our first and foremost priority,” said Evelyn Perez, DSHS assistant secretary for the agency’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). “We don’t expect any disruption to the necessary services we provide to the clients living there as we work through the appeals process.”

DSHS has 60 days to appeal the decertification, and will include a request for settlement. If DSHS and CMS cannot reach resolution and if the appeal is unsuccessful, the unit will lose approximately $1.2 million per month in federal Medicaid funds until such time in which Rainier can show compliance with the federal rules.

Last week DSHS announced that it entered into agreements for two other units—one at Rainier School and the other at Fircrest School in Shoreline. DSHS is not bound to the terms of the agreement last week in resolution for this matter.

Rainier School opened in 1939 and is one of the four state-operated residential habilitation centers for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Located in Buckley and operated by DDA, the facility spans more than 1,000 acres and houses approximately 293 residents with a $146.7 million annual budget.




DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.