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September 20, 2014

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Federal agency investigation: Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital meeting national standards

The Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, plagued by criticism, is meeting national standards in the treatment of its patients.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation inspected the hospital in May and released its report this week.

It found that 98 percent of the 2,835 patients released had continuing care plans that met national standards.

The rating is the latest in a number of inspections of the hospital, which was cited by the the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for releasing patients without an adequate follow-up plan.

Still to come is an unannounced visit by the CMMS to see if the hospital had followed up on its correction plan.

CMMS said it found instances where patients were not given adequate follow-up treatment plans when bused to their homes in other states. This review is crucial because the centers decide if Medicare and Medicaid payments are to continue to the hospital.

On the accreditation report, Nevada Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tracey Green said, “The hospital staff has made tremendous improvements in the two areas primarily identified in recent surveys – medical staff oversight and improved documentation related to discharge planning.”

The joint commission conducts its survey every three years to determine if national standards are being met by the hospital.

The Legislature, at the request of Gov. Brian Sandoval, allocated an extra $16.6 million to improve the mental health system in Nevada. Of that amount, $4 million is set aside to hire more staff and make other improvements at Rawson Neal.

And $2 million was approved for expanding the former mental health hospital in Las Vegas to alleviate the waiting time for patients to get treatment.

These changes and inspections resulted from a case in which a patient was discharged to Sacramento, Calif. where he had not lived and had no plan for follow-up treatment.

After an internal investigation, two employees were fired and three others were disciplined.

The accreditation commission found that the hospital did not meet the national standards in the discharge of adult patients on multiple antipsychotic medications. But it measured up in such things as the hours of physical restraints and the hours of seclusion.

It said the national standards were met on laboratory programs, behavior health care and hospital treatment.

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