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October 20, 2014

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Rawson-Neal fails inspection, is still out of compliance, feds say

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Sam Morris

This is the front sign for the Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

The troubled Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has again been found to be out of compliance with federal regulations, threatening funding to the hospital.

In a letter today, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told Nevada's health department that the hospital was still out of compliance with quality assurance controls, fire code and nursing services, among other deficiencies.

The troubled hospital first lost its accreditation last year, and the state health department created a corrective action plan to ensure the hospital would not lose federal funding.

But after inspections in November, inspectors found the mental health hospital to still be out of compliance.

The agency said the problems found "limit the hospital's capacity to render adequate care to patients or are of such character as to adversely affect patient health and safety."

The health department has until Jan. 22 to again submit a plan to correct the deficiencies.

Health department spokeswoman Mary Woods said the department will submit plans by the deadline.

Woods also said the Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health System, which oversees Rawson-Neal, will keep getting federal funding for the next 90 days while hospital staff review the federal government's findings.

Staff had reason to be optimistic after conducting an initial review of those findings.

"It appears many of the noncompliance issues mirror those identified by outside consultants," Woods wrote in a press release. "Therefore, actions have already been taken to address these issues such as hiring new staff and changing processes. There will be no disruption of services for patients."

Once the health department submits a plan of correction, the federal government will again arrive unannounced to conduct a follow-up inspection.

It was such an inspection that led to the finding that Rawson-Neal is still out of compliance and in danger of losing federal funding.

The hospital first came under scrutiny when it was disclosed that patients were bused out of state without adequate treatment plans. Lawsuits have been filed against the hospital in connection with the practice.

The state has allocated millions of dollars to hire new staff and to expand its facilities.

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