Last week it was revealed that mentally ill patients from Nevada were being bused to other States and dumped out onto the streets. The Sacramento Bee first broke the story when they wrote about Flavy Coy Brown, who was given a one-way bus ticket to Sacramento and a three day supply of medications.
The Sacramento Bee followed that story up with an investigative story which revealed from 2008 to 2013, at least 1500 patients were given one-way tickets.
Last Thursday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave Nevada 10 days to correct the problems at the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital following reports it may have improperly discharged patients and bused them out of state.
Today, April 29, Governor Sandoval issued a statement regarding what actions were taken against Rawson-Neal, which includes “terminations effective today”.
“Over the weekend, I reviewed the results of the investigation into patients transported out of state. All individuals who violated release policies have been or will be disciplined. These disciplinary actions include terminations effective today. While the investigation showed the vast majority of patient releases were done correctly, it also revealed policies were not followed by certain individuals. I will continue to evaluate the need for further action if necessary.
“In addition, we have obtained proposals from national experts in the mental health field to provide an objective and comprehensive analysis of our state facilities to ensure that best practices are being implemented and followed. As I have stated before, improperly discharging one patient is one patient too many. It is important to me and all Nevadans that we treat our most vulnerable members of society with dignity and care.”
In addition to the actions taken today, state-wide discharge policies for patients transported out of state have been strengthened, and a formalized chaperone policy has been instituted.
Don't miss any of the Las Vegas Democrat Examiner articles: Click the Subscribe button and enter your E-mail address. You’ll be alerted to the latest column when it's published. You can also click the E-mail button so you can send your favorite article to a friend. You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.