Las Vegas psychiatric hospital accused of patient dumping
A Las Vegas mental health hospital is under scrutiny, accused of patient dumping. That's where patients are sent out of town by bus and left in the care of others, often in other states.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A Las Vegas mental health hospital is under scrutiny, accused of patient dumping. That's where patients are sent out of town by bus and left in the care of others, often in other states.
The problem has shed light on a practice that has seen a rise in the past few years.
State-run Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital treats people with mental health issues through their inpatient services.
But according to published reports in the Sacramento Bee, the number of patients bused from here to other cities and states since 2009 has increased 66-percent.
The article also accused the hospital of not following procedures to ensure a patient's proper care.
Dr. Coni Kalinowski is the medical director for Mohave Mental Health and said the transient problem and severe budget cuts have put mental health services in crisis mode, "So we have a huge number of people who have acute psychiatric needs, who need to be in a hospital but absolutely no place for them to go."
Rawson-Neal representatives weren't able to speak on camera but they have responded to the alleged charges and have issued an official plan to prevent this from happening in the future.
The 23 page report outlines a checks-and-balances approach for their doctors to ensure no patient released slips through the cracks.
The statement released Monday says:
"When the Department of Health and Human Services became aware of an incident where policies were not followed, we immediately initiated an investigation. As a direct result of the investigation, a more rigorous review and approval process for patient discharge is now in place."
Governor Brian Sandoval said he takes these concerns very seriously.
He has been briefed throughout the investigation and has asked for more information.