Las Vegas mental institution losing accreditation |

Las Vegas mental institution losing accreditation

The state’s Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services hospital is in danger of losing its accreditation.

Hospital Outpatient Director Stuart Ghertner told the Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday he has received “what is called a preliminary letter of denial” of accreditation from the Joint Commission on Healthcare Organization.

He said he is hopeful the agency will be able to get conditional accreditation while changes are made in the hospital’s operations, curing some of the problems. Ghertner asked IFC to authorize SNAMHS to receive $811,984 more from the federal Housing and Urban Development agency to provide housing to more clients and fix some of the operational problems.

He said the hospital now has 213 beds and will add another 22 this year.

Ghertner said the accreditation team raised issues about the lack of documentation in charts about treatments and procedures at the hospital. They felt the documentation received from staff was inadequate.

“We’ve had some serious, serious problems,” said Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno.

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The added funding, according to agency work program documents, should enable SNAMHS to “provide quality services to mentally ill adults and to maintain (JCAHO) accreditation.”

Some of the funding will be used to remodel parts of the 30-year-old main campus building. But some of the money is also to cover areas where the existing budget was overspent, including professional nursing and psychiatric services contracted for while permanent staff was being hired for the new Rawson-Neal Hospital on the campus.

Lawmakers asked the agency to report back at the next meeting on the status of the accreditation issues.

The committee also voted to approve $1.1 million for the city of Client to fix damage caused by flooding more than two years ago. Half the money will be used to drill a new well to supply the city. Mayor Kevin Phillips said the remaining city well is not adequate to supply the city’s needs.

And city officials also advised the state there is no other alternative for the tiny community to pay for a new well.

If denied, they said, Caliente would have to declare bankruptcy.

“All programs, including fire, police and parks/recreation would terminate.”

Asked why it took so long to get the federal approvals for the floor repair, city and Emergency Management officials said the delays were at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The applications were filed just three months after the January 2005 flooding.