From BuzzFeed News: America’s largest chain of psychiatric hospitals, United Health Services, is currently under investigation by at least three federal agencies including the FBI and the Department of Defense. Officials are examining whether the hospital chain systematically holds patients longer than medically necessary.
“Two nurses from the facility, Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital, said they had direct experience with the company holding patients longer than necessary to collect higher insurance payments. They recalled telling doctors that patients were safe to be discharged, but that the doctors would ask when their ‘last covered day’ was — the last day Medicare, Medicaid, or their private insurance would pay for — and discharge them then, regardless of their condition.
‘They have lives and jobs,’ said Brandi George, a nurse who has worked at the hospital for three years, after beginning as a mental health technician. ‘And there’s no good medical reason for keeping them.’ Because the nurses take extensive notes on patients’ conditions, doctors would sometimes have to come up with new notes to explain the extended times, they said, such as a change in medication.”