County Sues Mental Health Facility
Santa Clara County last week filed a lawsuit against a company that was to provide transitional mental health services to patients, alleging that the firm committed malpractice and fraud, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The lawsuit was filed against the not-for-profit Oasis Care, which treats patients at the Riviera EVP board and care home; its former psychiatrist Arieh Whisenhunt; the for-profit contractor that runs the Riviera program, Ali Baba; and Ali Baba President Mustafa Sabankaya.
State and county officials rejected $631,000 in psychiatric bills from Oasis between May 2002 and May 2004 because the company lacked documentation detailing what, if any, treatment was given. The county seeks to recover undocumented medical costs and damages.
The lawsuit also states that the county believes some patients at the facility "have been subjected to physical and emotional harm" from "mistreatment/nontreatment attributed to Whisenhunt" and that "documentation failures" caused "economic harm."
Whisenhunt said he kept notes on all patients' treatment on a digital recorder but was unable to transcribe them for billing because staff to help with the work was never provided.
The county mental health department, which oversees the program, said there is no indication that patients were mistreated at the facility. "The department believes the care they provided has been excellent, that it's an administrative problem and that they've rectified some of the problems," County Counsel Ann Ravel said (Woolfolk, San Jose Mercury News, 3/3).