Failure to Obtain Consent Before Administering Medications

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cited Vines Hospital for failing to uphold a patient’s right to informed consent regarding care and treatment. A 21-year old patient was administered mood stabilization and anti-psychotic medications without proper consent during her several-day involuntary commitment. The patient was administered medications such as Abilify and Depakote (for mood stabilization) and Ambien (for insomnia), even though there was no evidence that her health care proxy gave permission for the medication administration.  On one occasion, the facility also had the patient sign a consent form for all three medications mentioned above on the same day they signed a document deeming her incapable of making treatment decisions due to her “‘unable/agitated mental state.'” CMS also found that the facility had failed to petition the courts within 72 hours to continue the patient’s involuntary placement. As a result, the facility was required to submit a plan of correction to address its cited deficiencies and deficient policies and procedures.