A Northern Nevada public psychiatric hospital has been found to be in violation of federal requirements, the third state facility for the mentally ill to come under fire in recent months.
State officials said late Wednesday that they question the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act deficiencies identified by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the Dini-Townsend Psychiatric Hospital in Sparks, but they still plan to submit a plan of correction to the federal agency by the end of the week.
State officials did not disclose the nature of the violations at Dini-Townsend.
“In our view, EMTALA does not apply to this facility and we question the appropriateness of requiring a psychiatric facility to adhere to regulations for a medical emergency room,” Mary Woods, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.
Woods also said state officials question applying those standards to Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas.
This month, a lawsuit involving Lake’s Crossing, the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric facility, came to the attention of lawmakers. The lawsuit filed by the Clark County public defender’s office alleges that lengthy wait times for admittance to the facility is a violation of prisoners’ civil rights.
This week, state officials also submitted a plan of correction to the federal centers for deficiencies found at Rawson-Neal, which lost its accreditation and was hit with a federal lawsuit in the aftermath of patient-dumping allegations this year.
Scrutiny of the Las Vegas hospital intensified after Rawson-Neal discharged James F. Brown, 48, to Sacramento, Calif., in February with no support or family waiting for him.
On Tuesday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera warned Nevada officials that he plans to file a class action lawsuit over the allegations of patient dumping from Rawson-Neal if no agreement is reached.
As part of a state review of patients transferred out of state, records showed that seven patients received transportation aid from Dini-Townsend to California from December 2007 to the present, the statement said.
“In each instance, the client identified California as his (or) her previous place of residence and had a support system in California,” Woods said in the statement. “Staff followed the transportation policy and not only included the client in the discharge process, but also made contact with the support system to ensure someone was receiving the individual at his (or) her destination.”
Dini-Townsend is accredited by the Joint Commission, certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and licensed by the state Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance, according to the statement.
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