Monday, March 14, 2016

This Is Crazy

"Five mental health hospitals targeted in federal probe" by Liz Kowalczyk Globe Staff  March 07, 2016

The Department of Justice is investigating five hospitals run by the largest private provider of mental health services in Massachusetts for possible billing fraud, according to a report filed recently with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The hospitals are part of Arbour Health System, which is owned by Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services, the largest owner of psychiatric hospitals and clinics in the country. Over the past three years, the Justice Department’s civil and criminal divisions gradually have expanded their investigations into the company’s facilities across the country.

Oh, I'm so thankful that Obama has finally moved on this as he has one foot out the door!!

Until now, the only Massachusetts hospital known to be under scrutiny was Arbour-HRI in Brookline. But in the SEC report submitted by Universal, the company revealed that the government’s investigation has grown to cover all of its Massachusetts hospitals.

The Justice Department informed the Fortune 500 company of the expanded investigation in December, saying it involves “billings submitted to government payers in relation to services provided at those facilities,” according to the company.

Last April, during a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Health Care Conference, Universal’s chief financial officer, Steve Filton, said the company does not “know exactly what the government’s full concerns are.”

In Massachusetts, Arbour has been cited repeatedly by state regulators over poor care and inadequate staffing at its hospitals and outpatient clinics.

This spring, the US Supreme Court plans to review a case brought by the parents of a deceased Massachusetts teenager against Universal Health Services....



"Three months after state regulators allowed a Brookline psychiatric hospital to start accepting new patients again, federal investigators found deficiencies with psychiatric evaluations and treatment plans, problems they said may have hindered patients’ recovery. Yet in February, inspectors for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found serious shortcomings in the quality of treatment at the 66-bed hospital in Brookline. Soon after, Arbour HRI’s chief executive, Patrick Moallemian, left his job. Arbour spokeswoman Judith Merel would not disclose the reason for his departure. Despite the federal findings, she said, patients at the hospital received good treatment. The federal investigators’ report, which Medicare provided to the Globe in response to a public records request, details the latest in a series of problems at Arbour Health System hospitals and clinics resulting from poor training and understaffing."

That was the longterm prognosis. 

What is that they say about doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

All I'm doing here is typing the same things I've been typing for years.

"Fearing backup of unclaimed bodies, state raises payment to funeral homes" by Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff  February 19, 2016

The state medical examiner’s office, concerned that it could run out of room to store corpses, has nearly doubled the amount of money it offers funeral homes to bury unclaimed bodies. 

Oh, I'm sure they won't mind. They dead.

The office must hold unclaimed bodies until a funeral home can be found that is willing to bury them, but that process has been increasingly delayed, the medical examiner’s office said.

The $1,100 fee that the state used to offer to funeral homes to perform the burials was insufficient. Just three funeral homes had handled such burials recently, and most were done by a single home, the office said.

In January, the office began offering an additional $1,000 — or $2,100 altogether.

“Their solution is working well so far,” Felix Browne, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, said in an e-mail.

In a January report to the Legislature, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry M. Nields had described the situation as “most concerning.”

The medical examiner’s office says it takes exhaustive steps to identify bodies and to find next of kin to bury them. But sometimes the office is unable to do that and other times next of kin refuse to claim the body. The office has no authority to force someone to claim a body.

Family dispute?

When efforts fail, the office notifies the Department of Transitional Assistance, which looks for a funeral home to bury the body.

That process had been taking too long, according to Nields....

We are talking state government in Ma$$achu$etts, right?


I thought it was relevant seeing that my will to read and blog about the Bo$ton Globe is $lowly dying.