Al Gobeille said he has scheduled a meeting Friday with hospitals, mental health providers, independent doctors and others to take a broad look at improving care.
Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital
Employees at the state facility in Berlin say they are understaffed. Hospital-employed doctors say patients are being “boarded” in their emergency rooms.
VSEA believes that no employee should ever have to experience violence against them while at work, no matter the assailant’s mental state.
Medicaid spending will once again be a driving factor in a projected $55 million to $75 million budget gap.
The state saw 627 adult involuntary admissions and 388 voluntary admissions involving children during fiscal year 2016.
The federal government is putting a stop to the way the state has used Medicaid money to fund certain facilities that don’t qualify, as well as other programs.
The most serious citations question whether the hospital had an adequately trained nursing director at the time and whether staff correctly diagnosed and planned treatment for patients.
The Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital has been operating at limited capacity for three weeks because of a shortage of nurses, interim Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health Frank Reed said.
Twenty-five percent of the most acutely ill patients who find their way into Vermont’s emergency rooms continue to wait longer than 24 hours for treatment.
A doctor at the facility says the combined presence of unmedicated and “criminally insane” patients is driving the high number of violent attacks and creates “a palpable atmosphere of fear among employees.”
Special Report: Two suicide attempts highlight troubles at the Brattleboro Retreat, raise doubts about state oversight
Sen. Claire Ayer said she was disappointed with Retreat officials for not being more forthcoming in public testimony about a series of events on the adolescent unit.
The state psychiatric hospital’s patients are the most complex and highly acute psychiatric cases in the state, and the hospital is ramping up occupancy in a “clinically sound” manner, CEO Jeff Rothenberg said.
Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital, which replaced the former state hospital in Waterbury, has eight available beds filled and expects all 25 to ready by Aug. 15.
Officials say a new psychiatric hospital represents state’s progress toward a decentralized mental health system in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.