Las Vegas Sun

July 30, 2014

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Report: More staff needed at Las Vegas psychiatric hospital

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval has asked the Legislature to set aside $4 million in a contingency fund to hire more staff at the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, as recommended by a consultant’s report.

Mike Willden, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said today that a request was submitted last week for the money.

The state used $50,693 in federal funds to contract with the National Association of Mental Health Administrators to review treatments and procedures at the Las Vegas hospital.

The inspection by two physicians said the hospital should provide more individual treatment and therapy, among other recommendations.

The report, released on Thursday, recommended 20 new positions and a pay raise for psychiatrists to fill vacant positions.

The hospital has come under fire for busing patients out of state without adequate treatment plans.

A federal report cited the hospital for this so-called “Greyhound strategy” and the hospital developed a plan for correcting any problems. The federal government has yet to approve it.

The report released Thursday said, “We found nothing per se inappropriate with discharge plans that included state-funded arrangements to return these individuals to their place of primary residence.”

But the consultants found the discharge of these patients lacked “adequate specificity of aftercare arrangement.”

The state has since decided to send chaperons with patients who are discharged out of state.

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