Thursday, November 20, 2008

How NOT to change NC Mental Health 'operational problems' at the public mental health hospitals sucking dry taxpayers $$$$

YIPEE! It took Cherry Hospital about 7 months to look at the filming of the dying of Steven Sabock who choked on medication, hit his head, and died while the staff was playing cards.

There should literally be rioting in the streets around NC DHHS re: this and other kindred matters.



Three Employees Fired After Patient Chokes on Medicine, Dies
Thursday, November 20, 2008

GOLDSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina officials have fired three employees and disciplined others in the death of a patient who was neglected for more than 22 hours at a state-operated mental hospital.

The employees at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro were fired over the death of Steven H. Sabock, 50, of Roanoke Rapids, who had a bipolar disorder and died April 29 after choking on medication and hitting his head.

Surveillance video shows employees playing cards and watching television and ignoring Sabock as he slumped in a chair.

State officials said 10 other employees were disciplined. One received a five-day suspension, four others were suspended for three days and five received written warnings, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday.

Federal regulators withdrew Medicare and Medicaid funding worth about $800,000 a month after the death.


This is right up there w/ the Big Three auto-makers flying their private Lear jets to D.C. in order to beg for money from the American people. (see: ABC News: Big Three CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds Auto Industry Close to Bankruptcy But They Get Pricey Perk By BRIAN ROSS and JOSEPH RHEE
November 19, 2008:
WallStreet/story?id=6285739&page=1 )

Broughton has not regained its accreditation re: Medicare/ Medicaid. Cherry Hospital has not regained its accreditation re: Medicare/ Medicaid. The new Central Hospital in eastern NC has not been able to take in patients due to safety issues.

Unbelievable. And since these hospitals cannot utilize Medicare/ Medicaid $$, every patient that is admitted is utilizing NC citizens' taxpayer $$ during a time when services are being shut-off and trust me, its going to get much worse.

It makes me ill to think that we would support and condone behaviors of people like this and its no different than continuing to keep the head administrators on at NC DHHS. With statements and continuing behaviors like these, I bet the administrators of Cherry Hospital and Broughton Hospital could 'see their way' to quickly re-inventing the functioning of the hospital if they were threatened w/ a pink slip.

I think they should be in their offices 24/7 until they fix this. And then they should have $$ extracted from their future salaries for being so slow to do their jobs.


VideoDHHS to update lawmakers on state mental hospitals
Related StoriesWidow: Cherry Hospital patient should still be alive

DHHS to update lawmakers on state mental hospitals

Posted: Nov. 19 7:45 p.m.

Raleigh, N.C. — Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services will provide an update to lawmakers Thursday on the status of the state's mental health hospitals.

The four facilities have come under scrutiny in the past two years for a variety of issues related to patient care and safety.

Most recently, the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid withdrew federal funding from Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro following the death of Steven Sabock. Workers neglected the 50-year-old as he sat in the same chair for 22 hours before his April 29 death.

Three workers were fired and two others resigned as a result. Four other employees were fired in August and two were charged with assault in connection with the beating of another patient.

The state's newest psychiatric facility in Butner, Central Regional Hospital, opened years later than expected. And workers at Dorothea Dix in Raleigh have long complained about unsafe working conditions.

Broughton Hospital in Morganton temporarily lost federal funding after a patient died last year. It also lost its accreditation for federal funding.

"We feel like we have competent staff," said Dr. Jims Osbert, chief of State Operated Services, which oversees mental health services. "The issues really were in changing some major cultural and operational kind of problems that have been in existence at Cherry, frankly, for many, many years."

Reporter: Bruce Mildwurf
Photographer: Edward Wilson
Web Editor: Kelly Gardner



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