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April 24, 2014

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MENTAL HEALTH:

Rawson-Neal inspection completed, but whether hospital will lose federal funding still uncertain

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Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital

The Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital won't lose its federal funding — at least not for now.

In August, a spokesman for the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid said the troubled psychiatric hospital would be reviewed to see if promised improvements have been made to patient care. If the hospital failed, the federal agency would terminate Medicaid funding Nov. 6

But Jack Cheevers, communications director for the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid, said Friday the inspection didn't take place until last week and it may be a while before the results are known.

The hospital first came under scrutiny when it was disclosed that patients were bused out of state without adequate treatment plans.

In August, the federal centers said its inspection found there was a lack of on-call physicians and failure to provide appropriate medical screening examinations and stabilizing treatment. The inspection also found that the hospital was not in compliance with the National Fire Safety Code.

The hospital notified the federal agency that improvements were made. More than $3 million was poured into the hospital and at least two people were fired and others disciplined. More psychiatrists also were hired.

Cheevers said once the inspectors write up their report, the centers will evaluate the findings and decide what steps need to be taken, if any. The report will then be sent to the hospital for comments. The report's findings cannot be made public until the hospital has a chance to comment on them.

That may take a few weeks, Cheevers said.

There are at least two suits pending that challenge the treatment system at the hospital.

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