In a sobering investigation of systemic failures at dozens of UHS hospitals, The Dallas Morning News’ Miles Moffeit exposes the shocking number of serious safety violations at the nation’s largest provider of behavioral health services.
“Across Texas and around the country, government inspectors investigating patient complaints cited 44 of the company’s hospitals for dangerously poor care or unsafe conditions between 2012 and mid-2015 […] “The large number of investigations aimed at misconduct within this hospital system is appalling,’’ said Dr. Peter Breggin, a New York-based psychiatrist who has consulted for the National Institute of Mental Health and the commission that accredits hospitals. “It is especially frightening that these deviations are occurring in the largest network of psychiatric hospitals in the country.’’
The article explains that some of the most serious problems at UHS facilities stem from improper care of suicidal patients:
“’One cannot get lax with suicide precautions ever,’’ said Dr. James Knoll, director of forensic psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. […] Since 1979, the nonprofit Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has admitted at least 100,000 patients, said Dr. Geetha Jayaram, a psychiatrist there. Not one has committed suicide at the facility, she said.”
UHS also finds itself at the center of a case before The Supreme Court of the United States where a family has accused the company of defrauding Medicaid by billing for services provided by unlicensed and unsupervised staff. The Court will hear oral arguments in the case on April 19, 2016. The Bazelon Center and Mental Health America, along with SEIU, have filed a brief in support of the family – read more about that here.
Click here to read The Dallas Morning News story – Danger in the psych ward: Safety issues plague a chain of mental-health hospitals in Texas and across the United States.