FREMONT HOSPITAL: Mental Health Funds at Risk
The California Department of Health Services last week completed a review of Fremont Hospital after receiving "numerous complaints about the treatment of patients at the mental health center," the Fremont Argus News reports. The investigation may determine if the hospital will retain funding for Medicaid and Medi-Cal, as well as its accreditation, Gil Martinez, manager for the Berkeley district of the DHS, said. "Some of the allegations are that when staff were present, they were not trained in managing assaultive behavior, which is crucial for a facility of its type," Martinez said. One of the complaints brought against the facility, according to Martinez, was that mental patients had escaped from the facility in the past. A spokeperson for Behavioral Health Care, the Tennessee corporation that owns Fremont Hospital, said, "We're not familiar with the specifics of the report, but will continue to work with the state and assure the high standards for quality patient care." The department's report will be filed with HCFA, which will determine whether to sanction the hospital. If sanctioned, the hospital may then submit a plan to correct facility problems. At that time, the department's findings will become public, a process that Martinez expects to take several weeks (Smith, 2/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.