Monday, November 24, 2008

NC mental health hospitals lose Medicare/ Medicaid funding for deaths while CA private psych hospitals receive $25,000/ death in penalties

Thank god for the investigative reporters in NC.

"In December 2005, Ramona Knapp, 51, was left fatally brain damaged after hospital workers restrained her improperly, pinning her to the floor."
PSI private psychiatric hospital, Sacramento, CA


cut and paste:
by Michael Biesecker at the Raleigh News/Observer

"RALEIGH Internal records show workers at a state mental hospital in Butner strapped a patient to a bed facedown for more than an hour this week, violating proper procedures and endangering the patient."


Amazing. Don't tell NC DHHS about this. They'll be importing some of these kinds of swell services.


"(PSI) : It has twice been fined $25,000 for endangering patients ."

Let's see: that's $2.5 million re: 3/4 NC public psychiatric hospitals losing Medicare/ Medicaid payments associated with significant problems x 12 months = (oh let's cut them a break): $20 million paid for by NC taxpayers associated w/ mismanagement by NC DHHS


Two $25,000 fines.

OH, did I tell you? IN CA, "Roughly two-thirds of the care is paid for by taxpayers. PSI collected about $900million through state and federal programs in 2007, the company's SEC filing suggests."
cut and paste:

Gee, I'd call that corporate welfare. They wolf down the profits while the public pays the bills.


"....In a challenging field with a troubled history, PSI hospitals often fare worse than comparable private hospitals in meeting government standards for patient care, according to an analysis of state and federal inspection reports.

See how PSI facilities compare to 10 similar hospitals Since 2005, the 10 hospitals PSI has owned longest have compiled almost twice as many patient-care deficiencies as 10 similar hospitals owned by its closest competitor, Universal Health Services Inc.

The PSI hospitals were cited in three patient deaths and for placing patients in immediate jeopardy four times, the inspection records show. The UHS hospitals received no equivalent citations.

Among private psychiatric hospitals in California, Sierra Vista had the single highest rate of state and federal deficiencies – about eight times the statewide average.

It has twice been fined $25,000 for endangering patients – accounting for the only such penalties levied against psychiatric hospitals under a 2006 state law establishing the sanctions. PSI executives declined to be interviewed for this article and, citing privacy law, would not discuss individual patients.


Mario Vidaurre, 41
Died after a struggle with a West Oaks staffer. Video of detective interview with staffer.

Steven Burton, 55
Failed to receive adequate doctor's care at Sierra Vista Hospital. Audio slideshow of 911 call ; "When Steven Burton, 55, checked in for treatment of alcohol abuse and depression in February, he complained of chest pains. The intake nurse didn't notify a doctor because, as she later told regulators, "he didn't look sick."

Crystal Marshall, 17
Died of a rare blood disorder after Cumberland Hospital delayed calling 911

Alan Chambers, 42
Asphyxiated himself at West Oaks Hospital

"Dying for profits - PSI psych hospitals neglect patients (cut & paste):

by FishOutofWater
Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:57:43 PM PST
The only ways to increase profits in a hospital business that has fixed payment rates are to cut costs or increase utilization of available beds. PSI - the fastest growing for profit chain of psych hospitals - has cut staffing costs to increase profits. Low staffing levels have led to patient neglect, abuse and avoidable death in multiple cases. Despite multiple avoidable patient deaths PSI strongly continues the business model that led to those deaths.

Increased "privacy" protections, the low credibility of the mentally ill and lax government regulation have created conditions where large profits can be made at the small expense of the occasional avoidable death of a psychiatric patient. Profit maximization is incompatible with patient safety.

FishOutofWater's diary :: ::
Psychiatric Solutions Incorporated has bought up psych hospitals across America. Their business model is simple. Cut staffing costs to increase profitability. Have fewer staff care for more patients. Replace staff with higher qualifications with lower paid staff with minimum qualifications...."


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