Sunday, April 28, 2013

Report: Nevada Mental Hospital Accused of 'Patient Dumping'

Posted By on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

The Sacramento Bee reports that a Nevada psychiatric hospital, for several years, released and bused hundreds of patients to a number of other states, including Idaho, prompting a federal warning and multiple investigations. Many of the individuals were purportedly suicidal and/or confused with no access to food or medications and lacking identification. According to The Bee, Las Vegas' Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital has sent 1,500 patients, since 2008, to almost every state in the continental United States.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval announced that his administration has launched three investigations, but denied his state has engaged in "patient dumping."

"Let me be clear, improperly discharging one patient is one patient too many," said Sandoval. "I take the concerns regarding Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital very seriously. And it is not the policy of the state of Nevada to engage in 'patient dumping' as has been alleged."

The Bee reports that a separate investigation from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found the hospital to have "serious deficiencies" in its discharge policies and gave the state of Nevada 10 days to fix its problems, or risk losing federal funding, which could cost Nevada tens of millions of dollars.

In addition, none of the 10 state mental health agencies contacted by The Bee said that placing a psychiatric patient on a bus without a chaperone would be permissible, and none recalled being contacted by Rawson-Neal.

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