Psychiatric Hospitals With Safety Violations Still Get Accreditation

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From The Wall Street Journal: “More than 100 psychiatric hospitals have remained fully accredited by the nation’s major hospital watchdog despite serious safety violations that include lapses linked to the death, abuse or sexual assault of patients, a database investigation by The Wall Street Journal has found.

The Joint Commission, an Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., nonprofit that evaluates most of the nation’s hospitals, revoked or denied full accreditation to fewer than 1% of psychiatric hospitals it oversaw in fiscal 2014 and 2015, the latest date for which detailed federal data is available. State inspectors found about 16% of those hospitals each year, or about 140 institutions total, operated with such severe safety violations they could put federal funding at risk.

Troubled hospitals have promoted their continued accreditation to attract new patients, in some cases even after the federal government terminated their Medicare funding due to recurring safety risks.

Psychiatric hospitals kept their accreditation after patients said they were raped or assaulted; died by suicide; or slept on chairs due to crowding, among other incidents, according to a review of hundreds of pages of state inspection reports.

The Joint Commission, a private body authorized by the government to review hospital performance, has long held an accrediting monopoly. It inspects almost 90% of the nation’s psychiatric hospitals, and the federal government relies on its findings. The commission determines whether hospitals comply with federal safety-related regulations. Hospitals determined by the commission to be in compliance get accreditation.

A lot of money is at stake: Medicare payments to inpatient psychiatric facilities reached $4.5 billion in 2017, growing an average of 1% each year since 2006, according to federal data.

The Joint Commission is currently the only accrediting organization with a federally approved psychiatric-hospital accreditation program for Medicare. It also accredits nearly 1,900 behavioral-health organizations such as group homes and addiction-treatment centers.

The Journal previously reported that the Joint Commission continued to accredit a variety of hospitals despite safety violations. In the case of inpatient psychiatric hospitals, the patients and staff are especially vulnerable, because so many of the patients are suicidal and cared for in the absence of family members who often act as patient advocates.

Psychiatric centers, like other hospitals, pay the Joint Commission for its inspections, and some hire consultants from a commission subsidiary to help them pass those reviews, which many ethics experts consider a conflict of interest.

Commission officials said that their surveys of hospitals shouldn’t be considered regulatory inspections and that they work collaboratively with psychiatric hospitals to help them improve.

‘It is important to acknowledge an uncomfortable reality: There are no perfect hospitals anywhere in the world,’ the Joint Commission said.

Some mental-health experts say the current system features the wrong incentives.

‘Accrediting bodies can’t make the standards too high or no one will ever pay for it,’ said Benjamin Miller, chief strategy officer at Well Being Trust, an advocacy group on mental health and wellness. ‘Accreditors are all in the business to make money.’

The Journal found 141 psychiatric hospitals, out of roughly 490 across the country, that were accredited by the Joint Commission and cited by state officials from fiscal 2014 and 2015 for serious violations.

For most of the 141, those violations weren’t the first; they had an average of eight serious violations in the years going back to 2011, according to state inspection records and Hospitalinspections.org. Some had dozens of previous violations.

‘I am very concerned about the data. It’s showing us there is a disparity between their surveys and ours,’ said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ‘You want to be sure accreditation means something.’

CMS checks accreditors’ work using a formula known as a disparity rate to gauge how often safety issues were overlooked. Its data shows the commission’s reviews of psychiatric hospitals had a 57% rate, which officials described as concerning and the highest of all types of hospitals.”

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Joint Commission Customer Support
    For general questions, contact Customer Service at 630-792-5800.
    https://www.jointcommission.org/report_a_complaint.aspx

    Joint commission is a worthless organisation and proof of that is their stamp of approval on UHS hospitals. http://www.google.com/search?q=universal+health+services+patient+abuse

    To do some activism lets all put the Joint commission contact information on Yelp Reviews for UHS hellholes. Search the name of any UHS ‘hospital’ plus Yelp to get to the review page real quick and read the nightmares, most of these people have no idea what the Joint commission even is but are angry and want to do something.

    We could flood them with complaints.

    One way to beat the Yelp filter is to upload a “meme” with the joint commission contact information, the reviews get ‘filtered’ but the pictures stay on top where people can see them. Yelp is tough to mess with alone, I have not had success playing around with proxies and playing games with IPs. This would really take a team effort or someone better at it then me.

    Artificial intelligence filters can read text super fast and clear out the kinds of reviews they don’t want but they really suck at filtering memes. Yelps can’t do it.

    Example here https://imgflip.com/i/2qqsdl

    The image https://i.imgflip.com/2qqsdl.jpg download then upload to yelp.

    Make a new informative image for each UHS hospital so the Yelp filter does not recognize duplicates.

  2. No replies. Yippy ! I get to be an army of one around here with all you “activists.” Bunch of posers.

    In case anyone wants to help with this project, list of UHS abusive hellholes. Find them on YELP and post the information.

    Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Alabama Clinical Schools, Birmingham, AL
    Alhambra Hospital, Rosemead, CA
    Alliance Health Center, Meridian, MS
    Anchor Hospital, Atlanta, GA
    Arbour – Fuller Hospital, South Attleboro, MA
    Arbour – HRI Hospital, Brookline, MA
    Arbour Counseling Services, Rockland, MA
    Arbour Hospital, Boston, MA
    Arbour Senior Care, Rockland, MA
    Arrowhead Behavioral Health, Maumee, OH
    Atlantic Shores Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Aurora Pavilion Behavioral Health Services, Aiken, SC
    Austin Lakes Hospital, Austin, TX
    Belmont Pines Hospital, Youngstown, OH
    Benchmark Behavioral Health Services, Woods Cross, UT
    Bloomington Meadows Hospital, Bloomington, IN
    Blue Mountain Academy, Grand Terrace, CA
    Boulder Creek Academy, Bonners Ferry, ID
    Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare of Mississippi, Flowood, MS
    Brentwood Hospital, Shreveport, LA
    Brighton Behavioral Health Center, Portsmouth, VA
    Bristol Youth Academy, Bristol, FL
    Brooke Glen Behavioral Health, Fort Washington, PA
    Brynn Marr Hospital, Jacksonville, NC
    Calvary Center, Phoenix, AZ
    Canyon Ridge Hospital, Chino, CA
    Cedar Grove Treatment Center, Murfreesboro, TN
    Cedar Ridge Hospital, Oklahoma City, OK
    Cedar Ridge Residential Treatment Center, Oklahoma City, OK
    Cedar Springs Behavioral Health Services, Colorado Springs, CO
    Centennial Peaks Hospital, Louisville, CO
    Center For Change, Orem, UT
    Central Florida Behavioral Hospital, Orlando, FL
    Chicago Children’s Center, Chicago, IL
    Clarion Psychiatric Center, Clarion, PA
    Coastal Behavioral Health, Savannah, GA
    Coastal Harbor Treatment Center, Savannah, GA
    Columbus Behavioral Center, Columbus, IN
    Community Behavioral Health, Memphis, TN
    Compass Intervention Center, Memphis, TN
    Copper Hills Youth Center, West Jordan, UT
    Cottonwood Treatment Center, So. Salt Lake, UT
    Creekside Academy, Sacramento, CA
    Crescent Pines Hospital, Stockbridge, GA
    Cumberland Hall Hospital, Hopkinsville, KY
    Cumberland Hospital, New Kent, VA
    Cypress Creek Hospital, Houston, TX
    Del Amo Hospital, Torrance, CA
    Desert Valley Hope Academy, Hemet CA,
    Diamond Grove Center, Louisville, MS
    Dover Behavioral Health System, Dover, DE
    Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital, Panama City, FL
    Fairfax Hospital, Kirkland, WA
    Fairmount Behavioral Health System, Philadelphia, PA
    FHCHS of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
    Fieldston Preparatory School, Titusville, FL
    First Home Care – VA, Portsmouth, VA
    Forest View Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI
    Fort Lauderdale Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Foundations Behavioral Health, Doylestown, PA
    Foundations for Living, Mansfield, OH
    Fox Run Center for Children and Adolescents, St. Clairsville, OH
    Fremont Hospital, Fremont, CA
    Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
    Glen Oaks Hospital, Greenville, TX
    Good Samaritan Counseling Center, Anchorage, AK
    Gulf Coast Treatment Center, Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Gulf Coast Youth Academy, Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Hampton Behavioral Health Center, Westampton, NJ
    Harbor Point Behavioral Health Center, Portsmouth, VA
    Hartgrove Hospital, Chicago, IL
    Havenwyck Hospital, Auburn Hills, MI
    Heartland Behavioral Health Services, Nevada, MO
    Heritage Oaks Hospital, Sacramento, CA
    Hermitage Hall, Nashville, TN
    Hickory Trail Hospital, DeSoto, TX
    High Point Treatment Center, Cooper City, FL
    Highlands Behavioral Health, Littleton, CO
    Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services, Birmingham, AL
    Holly Hill Hospital, Raleigh, NC
    Horace Mann Academy, Rockledge, FL
    Horizon Health Management, Lewisville, TX
    Intermountain Hospital, Boise, ID
    Jefferson Trail Treatment Center, Charlottesville, VA
    Kempsville Center for Behavioral Health, Norfolk, VA
    Keys of Carolina, Charlotte, NC
    Keystone Center, Wallingford, PA
    Kingwood Pines Hospital, Kingwood, TX
    La Amistad Behavioral Health – Adult Program, Winter Park, FL
    La Amistad Behavioral Health Services, Maitland, FL
    Lakeside Behavioral Health System, Memphis, TN
    Laurel Heights Hospital, Atlanta, GA
    Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center, Dothan, AL
    Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, San Antonio, TX
    Liberty Point Behavioral Healthcare, Staunton, VA
    Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta, Augusta, GA
    Lighthouse Care Center of Conway, Conway, SC
    Lincoln Prairie Behavioral Health Center, Springfield, IL
    Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health System, Radcliff, KY
    Macon Behavioral Health System, Macon, GA
    Manatee Palms Group Homes, Bradenton, FL
    Manatee Palms Youth Services, Bradenton, FL
    Marion Youth Center, Marion, VA
    McDowell Center for Children, Dyersburg, TN
    Meridell Achievement Center, Liberty Hill, TX
    Mesilla Valley Hospital, LasCruces, NM
    Michiana Behavioral Health Center, Plymouth, IN
    Midwest Center for Youth and Families, Kouts, IN
    Millwood Hospital, Arlington, TX
    Milton Girls Juvenile Residential Facility, Milton, FL
    Mission Bell Academy, Riverside, CA
    Mojave Ridge Academy, Victorville, CA
    Morongo Basin Learning Academy, Morongo, CA
    Mountain Youth Academy, Mountain City, TN
    Natchez Trace Youth Academy, Waverly, TN
    National Deaf Academy, Mt. Dora, FL
    Newport News Behavioral Health Center, Newport News, VA
    North Spring Behavioral Healthcare, Leesburg, VA
    North Star Behavioral Health System – Debarr, Anchorage, AK
    North Star Behavioral Health System – Palmer, Palmer, AK
    North Star Hospital, Anchorage, AK
    Northwest Academy, Naples, ID
    NorthWest Academy, Streamwood, IL
    Oak Plains Academy, Ashland City, TN
    Okaloosa Youth Academy, Crestview, FL
    Okaloosa Youth Development Center, Crestview, FL
    Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services, Winston-Salem, NC
    Palmetto Behavioral Health – Pee Dee, Florence, SC
    Palmetto Behavioral Health – Summerville, Summerville, SC
    Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health, North Charleston, SC
    Panamericano (Cidra), Cidra, PR
    Parkwood Behavioral Health System, Olive Branch, MS
    Peachford Hospital, Atlanta, GA
    Peak Behavioral, Santa Teresa, NM
    Pembroke Hospital, Pembroke, MA
    Pinnacle Point, Little Rock, AR
    Poplar Springs Hospital, Petersburg, VA
    Prairie St. Johns, Fargo, ND
    Pride Institute, Eden Prairie, MN
    Professional Probation Services, Norcross, GA
    Provo Canyon School, Provo, UT,
    Provo Canyon School – Springville Campus, Springville, UT
    Rancho Academy of Learning, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Rancho San Diego Academy, San Diego, CA
    Rivendell Behavioral Health Services, Bowling Green, KY
    Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas, Benton, AR
    River Crest Hospital, San Angelo, TX
    River Oaks Hospital, New Orleans, LA
    River Park Hospital, Huntington, WV
    River Point Behavioral Health, Jacksonville, FL
    Riverdale Country School, Palm Bay, FL
    Riveredge, Forest Park, IL
    Rock River Academy, Rockford, IL
    Rockford Center, Newark, DE
    Rolling Hills Hospital, Franklin, TN
    Roxbury Treatment Center, Shippensburg, PA
    San Marcos Treatment Center, San Marcos, TX
    Sandy Pines, Tequesta, FL
    Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health Services, Tulsa, OK
    Shadow Mt-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, OK
    Sierra Vista Hospital, Sacramento, CA
    Somerset School in Riverside, Riverside, CA
    South Texas Behavioral Health System, Edinburg, TX
    Spring Mountain Sahara, Las Vegas, NV
    Spring Mountain Treatment Center Las Vegas, NV
    Springwoods Behavioral Health, Fayetteville, AR
    St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, St. Louis, MO
    St. Simons By-The-Sea, St. Simons Island, GA
    Stonington Institute, North Stonington, CT
    Streamwood Hospital, Streamwood, IL
    Streamwood Residential Treatment Center (Elgin), Streamwood, IL
    Summit Oaks Hospital, Summit, NJ
    SummitRidge Hospital, Lawrenceville, GA
    Talbott Recovery Campus, Atlanta, GA
    Texas NeuroRehab Center, Austin, TX
    The BridgeWay, North Little Rock, AR
    The Brook – Dupont, Louisville, KY
    The Brook – KMI, Louisville, KY
    The Carolina Center for Behavorial Health, Greer, SC
    The Horsham Clinic, Ambler, PA
    The Hughes Center, Danville, VA
    The Meadows Hospital / Universal Community Behavorial Health, Centre Hall, PA
    The Pavilion at Northwest Texas, Amarillo, TX
    The Pavilion Foundation, Champaign, IL
    The Ridge Behavioral Health System, Lexington, KY
    The Vines Hospital, Ocala, FL
    Three Rivers Behavioral Health West, Columbia, SC
    Three Rivers Residential Treatment – Midlands, Columbia, SC
    Timberlawn Mental Health System, Dallas, TX
    TMC Behavioral Health Center, Sherman, TX
    Turning Point Hospital, Moultrie, GA
    Turning Point Youth Center, St. John’s, MI
    Two Rivers Psychiatric Hospital, Kansas City, MO
    University Behavioral Center, Orlando, FL
    Upper East Tennessee Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Johnson City, TN
    Valle Vista Health System, Greenwood, IN
    Virgin Islands Behavioral Services, St. Croix, VI
    Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center, Virginia Beach, VA
    Walton Youth Development Center FL
    Wekiva Springs Hospital, Jacksonville, FL
    Wellstone Regional Hospital, Jefferson, IN
    West Hills Hospital, Reno, NV
    West Oaks Hospital, Houston, TX
    Westwood Lodge, Westwood, MA
    Willow Springs Center, Reno, NV
    Windmoor Healthcare, Clearwater, FL
    Windsor-Laurelwood Center, Willoughby, OH
    Wyoming Behavioral Institute, Casper, WY

  3. Cat. Thanks so much for posting and yes Steve it is a long long list. I was at one of these so called hospitals and it was abusive and at best ignorant of any best practice.
    I discovered this several years ago by calling the institution and someone let it slip who the actual owner was. They keep it very well hidden.
    There are so many ethical and moral issues to discuss and it is hard for me because of the memories and I still haven’t cried. There still hasn’t been anyone I can discuss this with who truly understands and the internet is good but human eye to eye contact is so very necessary for finding some sort of safe space recovery pattern in life after endurance of this trauma.I also read’s Cat’s post on another page and everyone should read it. Yes and yes and yes.
    I don’t know about Yelp. I think I did it early in and my comment/ review was removed.
    One has to remember they have lawyers and eyes and they use them to protect themselves.
    I was on another forum for serious medical issues and there was talk about hospitals checking the forum comments out especially those that could conceivably be brought to trial for medical malpractice.
    I freaked and left the forum because I was afraid the issues could have been possibly identifiable.
    All I can think of is a class action suit or some sort of human / civil rights prosecution. Other than Tina M ‘s workor the ECT case I don’t see that happening.
    I also have been called on and never ever ever want to endure that type of torture again in the time remaining in my life.
    If there were a way to safely tell someone or some group I would do it in a heartbeat. Not only do I like Cat have the memories, I have the professional experience to tell everyone what they were doing was not only professionally unethical and immoral but tstntsmount to human torture in the guise of so called help which only for the profit for a few. My guess is the staff Sunday gettin paid well either and have their own issues and the company finds this out and keeps them quiet. It is bacically a concentration type framework utterly disguised and hidden in almost plain view. They were smarter this time, they deliberately decided not use the chimneys.

  4. Speaking of Yelp reviews, mine were not removed. I was upvoted to a higher position Yelper so now whatever I write carries more weight.

    My recommendation would be to write other reviews, too. Review a new business that just started up in town, like a restaurant or crafts shop. Make sure every single review is based on your own experience with the business. Use very specific terms explaining why it was great or why it sucked. Stick to your own story and be careful of sensationalism.

    So for a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to write, “I heard the food sucks there.” Where is the indication you really tried it out? Also, “sucks” is vague. A better review might state, “I arrived at 6pm with my family and we had to wait 30 minutes to be seated.” Or, “My wife ordered steak and we had to send it back because it was undercooked.”

    If you are to review a hospital, use very specific terms also. You might want to avoid generalizations and stick to specific events and use colorful description. “The emergency department was so crowded I was forced to sleep in the hallway on a hard plastic chair.” And so on.

  5. I feel saddened that the comments are hidden. The survivor voice is squelched because of this.
    That said, I witnessed a wrongful death on a psych ward once. I don’t know, to this day, if the family sued. They did a half-assed job of examining the guy in the ER. He was a known frequent flyer. Do they ever give known frequent flyers adequate medical care? NO! We were shuffled to psych by default. He made it up to the ward. He died (supposed heart attack) during the admissions process. Who the hell failed to notice he was having a cardiac event?

    • “Frequent Flyer” is often used as a derogatory term for clinicians to distance themselves from people they perceive to be “difficult clients.” It doesn’t surprise me that such a person ends up having their needs ignored, even to the point of death. Once those in charge stop caring (if they ever did), anyone in their care is in danger.

      • This is very true. This was across the board with all institutions where a patient was a known frequent flyer. In fact, FFs figure this out. So eventually they show up at a new ER where they are not known. Why? They know they’ll get better care. Problem is, a lot of FFs will then overuse that new ER and then start to get worse care there. And it only goes on. Most FFs get that way because their outpatient providers catastrophize every misfortune the patient encounters. Mental patients are trained very well to show up at an ER even for a hangnail! After a while you wear out your welcome at any hospital in your local area. I have known people who did that. Finally, after years of this nonsense, they developed a problem that was an actual emergency. Often, FFs die due to neglectful or abusive medical care.

        Whether a person is an FF or not, no one deserves neglectful or abusive medical care. Yes they do cop an attitude. That’s gotta stop.

        • In my mind, what happens is that a particular client is unable to get his/her needs met by the standard system of “care.” Because they have learned a certain set of coping skills for whatever reason (usually a totally abusive childhood and and almost complete lack of love or caring in their lives), they are unwilling to sit by and just accept that their needs go unmet, so they call more often or figure out ways to try and pressure the clinicians into meeting those needs. (I have to acknowledge here that very often, the needs are more than a clinician alone can meet, but the clinicans should know that and understand the paramaters of working with this person). The person then gets labeled as “uncooperative” or “high service user” or “frequent flyer” and is then treated with even less concern and is dismissed more easily due to the group’s agreement that they ‘need boundaries to be set.’ Such a person then seeks other caregivers, who are warned ahead of time not to trust this person or put in too much time on them, so the client is more and more frustrated, escalates to more extreme behavior, thereby “proving” that “they’re borderline” and are not deserving of the clinicians’ time. Word gets around, and soon this person is treated as a pariah almost everywhere they go. That’s what I’ve seen, anyway. I think such people are to a large extent created, first by having their childhood needs go so dramatically unmet, and then by the “caregivers” putting the blame back on them instead of helping them figure out what needs they are trying to meet by their behavior.

          • I agree only partially, Steve. Not all FFs had rotten childhoods. FFs are entirely created by the System. If we conclude they had rotten childhoods, this puts blame on the parents (and of course it couldn’t be the therapist!).

            I was a frequent flyer and my childhood, though not perfect, was not terrible either. I became an FF because it was encouraged by therapists, by these crisis teams, by the community, and mostly, peer pressure within the System.

            I have witnessed patients boasting about how many times they had been hospitalized. This was a status symbol! It was a status symbol to have many suicide attempts on record. In the ED world, if you had been tubed, you’re a notch above the rest. “Almost dying,” this, too, is a status symbol. It is subtle but if you listen closely to the dialogue, that is the implication. Many of these patients that I personally knew who were FFs did not have abusive childhoods. You cannot blame the parents because the majority of blame falls on the System.

  6. Actually the term used to be gomer and go mere for get out of my ER. This is an issue for the entire medical system though I am not sure about how urgent care units have changed the use of ER.
    This is a really sticky wicket and so very much messed up.
    If folks are in crisis or feel they are in crisis or family members feel the identified patient is in crisis other than hotlines which may produce a police visit which will in turn trigger trauma there are few options because all MH private practitioners and CMHC have go to your ER.
    And crisis does not come in convent times usually it is the evening of a holiday / the day after a Saturday funeral ect ect ect.
    Not one therapist o shrink was able to elucidate a plan for hard times. One mentioned breathing – well how and why EDMR was created by walking in nature with tree leaves. So the breathing therapist also said walk in nature but no good explanation of how and why.
    One can do this on one’s own. Have a set of daily weekly rituals that help. Have things to do during hard times. Create your own design and do not rely on the system unless you have the luck to have a professional worth their Wright in gold.
    A 24/7 trsuma center for ALL citizens makes perfect sense to me.
    Police, mothers, docs, nurses, teachers, retail workers, call center workers, clergy- we all need a place to go with non pharmacy tools.
    Now with the world as it is- it makes sense probably too much sense for it ever to become a reality. But one can hold out hope.