Login

Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- The federal government is threatening to pull funding from the Arizona State Hospital after a recent inspection identified problems affecting patient care and safety.

State officials said Wednesday they've already taken corrective action and don't expect to lose federal funding.

A Nov. 12 letter to the hospital from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services gives officials until Friday to file an improvement plan. That would allow it to continue to draw federal Medicare funds at the state's mental hospital in Phoenix.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble said the plan is written and will be sent by overnight mail Thursday.

``We are not going to lose Medicare certification. That's not going to happen,'' Humble said.

The hospital's annual report shows it received $11 million from Medicare in 2011 and $52 million from the state general fund.

The Nov. 12 letter cites deficiencies in nursing care, patient rights and the hospital's oversight board, all identified during a survey conducted by a state health services division that inspects medical facilities across the state.

The hospital has about 320 patients in three units: a 120-bed unit for civilly committed mentally ill patients, another 120 beds for people sent to the hospital by criminal courts, and a sexually violent persons unit that holds 80 patients. The inspection covered only the civil commitment side.

Cory Nelson, the state's deputy director for behavioral health, said the hospital oversight board didn't have separate accounting for the civil and criminal sides, and in one case a person treated in another facility wasn't re-examined when they returned. A review of staffing also found that, in several cases, there were not enough nurses on duty to provide for the patients.

The third failure involved six patients who had injured themselves, violating a rule saying patients have a right to a safe environment.

``By its nature, the state hospital treats patients with very severe psychiatric illnesses,'' Nelson said. ``Some of those illnesses include self-harm.''

The patients were under intense supervision, but Humble said it ``was not enough to prevent a bad outcome.''

Associated Press,

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: