Locked On The Psych Ward

Beware sports fans as hospitals are always looking to fill those declining hospital beds as people catch on to the racket. That holds double true if you have a good insurance policy as you will like a gold mine to them.

I am only going to post a short paragraph on two on this one as it is virtually an ebook.

Lock them in. Bill their insurer. Kick them out. How scores of employees and patients say America’s largest psychiatric chain turns patients into profits.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/rosalindadams/intake?utm_term=.goJJG523#.barj8aRo

On a cool October evening in 2012, Samantha Trimble walked into the lobby of Millwood Hospital, a low-slung brick building on the side of a road in Arlington, Texas, seeking a free mental health assessment.

A few weeks earlier in the AP world history class Trimble taught, after a kid started acting childish, she put a diaper on his head — something she admits was a bad idea. When administrators heard about it, she was escorted off the property. Worried for her job and her ability as a single mother to support her daughter, she visited her doctor’s office in tears. A physician assistant asked if she wanted to talk to someone at Millwood.

Just after 8 p.m. that evening, a counselor at Millwood asked Trimble if she was having suicidal thoughts. With her pastor beside her for moral support, she replied, “Well, who hasn’t had suicidal thoughts?” She said she had no intention to kill herself but joked, “It’s Texas, it isn’t that hard to get a gun.” They all laughed, she recalled. She said she had no idea that the counselor characterized the line as a plan to commit suicide.

Nor did she know, she later testified in a deposition, that the dozen or so forms he gave her were anything other than standard doctor’s-office paperwork. She signed them and waited for her counseling session.

It was nearly 11 p.m. by the time a staff member walked her down a long hallway. She recalled being startled to see rooms that were filled not with desks but with beds.

A technician rifled through Trimble’s purse for sharp objects and then a nurse told her to strip down to her underwear. It was then, she said, that she realized the doors to the psychiatric ward had locked behind her.

Trimble, who has recently reached a settlement regarding her hospitalization, recalled shaking with fear and “deep, shameful humiliation” as the nurse examined her body, noting the location of any identifying marks. “All you can do,” Trimble said, “is stand there and let it happen.”

The nurse handed her a small cup of pills, and soon she was asleep.

When she woke up early the next morning, she recalled thinking, What the fuck just happened?

Millwood Hospital is part of America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services, or UHS. Its more than 200 psychiatric facilities across the country admitted nearly 450,000 patients last year. The result was almost $7.5 billion in revenues from inpatient care last year and profit margins of around 30%. More than a third of the company’s overall revenue — from both medical hospitals and psychiatric facilities — comes from taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid.

Trimble, who has recently reached a settlement regarding her hospitalization, recalled shaking with fear and “deep, shameful humiliation” as the nurse examined her body, noting the location of any identifying marks. “All you can do,” Trimble said, “is stand there and let it happen.”

The nurse handed her a small cup of pills, and soon she was asleep.

When she woke up early the next morning, she recalled thinking, What the fuck just happened?

Millwood Hospital is part of America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services, or UHS. Its more than 200 psychiatric facilities across the country admitted nearly 450,000 patients last year. The result was almost $7.5 billion in revenues from inpatient care last year and profit margins of around 30%. More than a third of the company’s overall revenue — from both medical hospitals and psychiatric facilities — comes from taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid.

A yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation — based on interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents — raises grave questions about the extent to which those profits were achieved at the expense .

 

Scores of employees from at least a dozen hospitals said those facilities tried to keep beds filled even at the expense of the safety of their staff or the rights of the patients they were locking up.

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