Psychiatrist Claims Administrators Interfered in Medical Decisions, Hired Unqualified Personnel

A former psychiatrist alleged that several hospital governance issues at the Keys of Carolina directly impacted patient care.

Dr. Luccerini claimed that hospital administrators at times interfered in physician judgement due to budget considerations. On one occasion, the hospital CEO challenged Luccerini’s decision to place her patient on 1-on-1 suicide watch because it disrupted the staff-to-patient ratio and was “much more expensive for the facility.” Luccerini also claimed that facility administrators released patients over their treating physician’s objection, and in one instance a patient was sent back to the same home where abuse occurred.

Dr. Luccerini alleged that the CEO refused to conduct an investigation into patient sexual misconduct, that patients were restrained in the facility without proper monitoring, and that patients received inadequate medical care. She claimed that facility administration failed to replace the Director of Nursing, resulting in non-medical personnel directing patient care and leaving nurses without appropriate support and supervision.

Dr. Luccerini asserted that the facility’s safety violations were so serious that the state of North Carolina closed the facility twice between 2008 and 2010, and that hospital management told her they were able to reopen the facility due to “powerful lobbyists.” Ultimately, Dr. Luccerini’s contract was not renewed, allegedly due in part to her complaints of gender discrimination. This case was voluntarily dismissed on March 15, 2013.