Hospital denied accreditation

The Joint Commission, an organization that accredits hospitals, has issued a preliminary denial of accreditation to Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Clark County. The hospital remains accredited while it tries to remedy the numerous failings identified by the accreditation teams that visited the hospital twice in May.

Rawson-Neal is the hospital that has been accused of dumping patients by busing them out of state, often to locations where they knew no one.

State health and human services director Mike Willden issued a statement: “Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital has strengthened policies, changed processes, increased oversight, and enhanced staff training. It has undergone rigorous review by a number of entities over the past few months including retaining nationally recognized experts to evaluate how Nevada currently treats mentally ill persons at this facility. In addition, disciplinary actions have been taken against individuals who failed to follow hospital policies. … We are disappointed by the Joint Commission's decision to move for a preliminary denial of accreditation, which appears to be based on outdated survey information and is not an accurate reflection of the hospital's current practices and policies.”

The Joint Commission inspections at the hospital were made 12 weeks ago and 10 weeks ago. The first review took two days; the second took four, according to the commission.

A few days after that statement, Willden said the state would not appeal the Joint Commission findings: “The appeal process also does not take into account the follow-up surveys conducted by Joint Commission itself which concluded the facility is in compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation. Rather than pursue an appeal, Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (SNAMHS) plans to request a new accreditation review in the near future when the hard work and great effort to improve services for our patients will be considered and recognized by the Joint Commission.”

A spokesperson for Gov. Brian Sandoval said he would ask the Interim Finance Committee—a body of legislators who act on funding issues when the full legislature is out of session—to speed up allocation of already-appropriated mental health funds.

The particulars of the accreditation teams' findings on the hospital can be read on our Newsview blog at