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December 12, 2018

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Governor: No plans to fire anyone over failed Rawson-Neal inspection

Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital

This is the front sign for the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

CARSON CITY – No employee firings are planned at the state-operated Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, where failed patient-care standards again threaten federal funding.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Tuesday he visited the hospital twice in the past several months and found the staff “dedicated and hardworking.”

Asked if he thought the hospital was living up to care standards, he replied, “I’m not an inspector.”

The state is preparing a plan of correction to submit to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has threatened to withhold Medicare payments for mental patients at Rawson-Neal if changes are not made.

An inspection by federal officials in November found deficiencies that “substantially limit the hospital’s capacity to render adequate care to patients or are of such a character to adversely affect patient health and safety.”

The governor told reporters the hospital still retained its accreditation at least until April 9. He said the federal inspection’s deficiencies included a space heater under a desk and no exit sign.

“Rawson Neal is a major priority,” he said. “We are working hard to meet the standards.”

A copy of the full federal report to Nevada health officials has not been released to the public.

The governor noted that more money has been allocated to hire doctors and staff and to expand hospital beds.

After the state’s plan of correction is submitted, federal inspectors again will visit the hospital to assess if it meets patient-care standards.

In March 2013, federal inspectors found Rawson-Neal was discharging patients without adequate plans to follow up with treatment once they reach their homes. The patients were placed on a buses, given enough food to last through the one-way trip but didn’t have an adequate discharge plan.

After the details were made public last year, some employees were fired and others disciplined.

But Sandoval said Tuesday there would not be any dismissals as a result of the most recent inspection.

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