Nebraska’s chief medical officer has ordered the Beatrice State Developmental Center to stop treating residents with complex medical needs. Dr. Joanne Schaefer’s order issued Monday requires all “medically fragile” residents of the center to be moved to a Lincoln or Omaha hospital by 5 p.m. Friday.
The decision is motivated by a death last month at the troubled center in which medical negligence may have been a contributing factor. Schaefer would not provide details of the case. Nor did she provide details of other deaths that have occurred at the center and were investigated. After previous deaths, Schaefer said state officials were assured adequate medical care was being provided. But it was clear that was not the case after the most recent death.
The order affects 35 to 40 residents. Medically fragile individuals are those with developmental disabilities and additional complications such as seizure disorders, diabetes or other medical conditions requiring intensive care.
Gov. Dave Heineman calls the situation very serious and says he supports Schaefer’s actions.