Facility kept patient who wanted to be discharged; gave patient medication without consent of legal guardian

University Behavioral Health Center of El Paso was cited by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for failing to notify a patient of his discharge rights. As a voluntarily admitted patient, he had the right to be discharged within four hours of making that request. CMS surveyors found that the patient’s rights were not upheld when was not released per facility policy, even though he had expressed a desire to be discharged from the facility on multiple occasions. A physician progress note stated that “the patient is still feeling very frustrated about the fact that he is healthier and requested to be seen for second opinion concerning his stay in the hospital,” while his discharge summary noted that “he was insisting on leaving” on a daily basis.The patient also did not meet any of the criteria for continued hospitalization, which includes changing one’s mind about discharge, being under 18 years old, meeting the criteria for court-ordered mental health services or emergency detention, or being unable to make an informed decision about continued treatment. CMS also cited the facility because it “failed to follow its policies concerning informed medication consent” for two patients. In one case, a patient received Risperdal and Depakote medications for five consecutive days, even though her legal guardian had not consented to the medications. In another case, a patient was given the psychoactive medication Ambien, with no evidence that the patient had given consent. The facility had to submit a plan of correction to address all of its cited deficiencies and deficient practices.