Maine lawmakers want to know why deaths went uninvestigated

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AUGUSTA (AP) — A legislative panel wants answers from Maine health officials about a federal audit that revealed the agency failed to investigate the deaths of 133 disabled adults.

The Portland Press Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2vJEofW ) the Legislature’s health and human services committee sent the Aug. 31 letter to Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Ricker Hamilton.

The lawmakers asked for answers by Tuesday. The committee’s co-chair Democratic Rep. Patty Hymanson says lawmakers want to know what happened and how to prevent future issues.

An August audit by the Office of Inspector General of the federal Department of Health and Human Services found nine deaths were unexplained, suspicious or untimely.

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The department says the audit doesn’t reflect current practices and disputed some findings.

Federal auditors found similar results in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Maine State House is the state capitol of the State of Maine in Augusta, Maine, USA.

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