Sandoval wants to hasten mental health funding

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has called for special legislative action to speed up the mental health funding process after an accrediting agency gave a much-scrutinized Las Vegas psychiatric hospital a demerit.

The news came in a statement from Nevada Department of Health and Human Services chief Mike Willden on Wednesday, shortly after the Joint Commission announced Rawson-Neal hospital had received a “preliminary denial of accreditation” based on a site visit in May.

“We are disappointed by the Joint Commission’s decision to move for a Preliminary Denial of Accreditation, which appears to be based on outdated survey information and is not an accurate reflection of the hospital’s current practices and policies,” Willden said.

The hospital retains its accreditation, but the mark indicates there are problems at the facility that could result in a loss of accreditation.

Rawson-Neal has been taking heat since The Sacramento Bee first published the story of James Brown, who had been discharged from the hospital to a Greyhound Bus in February and ended up disoriented in Sacramento, Calif., where he had no support system.

The Joint Commission visited the hospital to conduct a full survey in May. Commission members published their findings from that visit this week, noting that the hospital was out of compliance on numerous standards including educating patients about follow-up care upon discharge and documenting patient discharge information.

Since then, health officials said they’ve strengthened their discharge policies, increased oversight, and sought outside opinions on how to improve operations. Several employees were disciplined or fired in the fallout.

On Wednesday afternoon, the governor formally requested a meeting of the legislative Interim Finance Committee “in the very near future and we are hopeful the Legislature will agree,” according to his spokeswoman, Mary-Sarah Kinner.

She said lawmakers could accelerate the authorization of funds that are already budgeted for improvements in the mental health system, and could “address any outstanding concerns with the facility.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment