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GUESTS

Philip Reese, Reporter, Sacramento Bee

Yesenia Amaro, Reporer, Las Vegas Review-Journal

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- The Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas officially has one strike against it. The Joint Commission, the body that accredits hospitals, has listed 22 areas where the hospital does not meet proper standards. They range from the competence of the staff to failing to properly instruct patients about future treatment when they are discharged.

These were some of the same problems that were apparent in the busing of James Flavy Brown to Sacramento, a city where he had no connection and knew no one, even though he had told staff he wanted to be returned to the group home in Las Vegas where he had lived before being sent to Rawson-Neal.

“The problem that’s gotten the most attention is the patient discharge,” says Philip Reese of the Sacremento Bee, the paper that broke the story.

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Accreditation isn’t a requirement for running a hospital – some that lose accreditation shut down, some don’t. But that doesn’t mean the Commission’s findings are insignificant.

“It’s pretty serious,” says Reese. “Losing your accreditation is first and foremost an embarrassment. But secondly, many private insurance companies won’t pay a hospital that doesn’t have accreditation.”

But Reese says that the hospital says that won’t affect them too much financially, since many of their patients don’t have insurance.

He adds that this latest fallout from the patient busing schedule will likely be an impetus for further reform.

“They terminated employees, they brought in consultants to improve their practices, so they’ve done quite a bit,” says Reese. “With this accreditation issue, it will probably motivate them to do even more.”

 

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