Timberlawn, TX Psychiatric Hospital to Lose Federal Funding After Reports of Unsafe Conditions, Court Hears—CCHR Encourages Concerned Patients and Families to Speak Out

Share Article

Mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights applauds a U.S. District Judge's decision on Thursday that paves the way for a federal agency to cut Medicare and Medicaid funding to Timberlawn psychiatric hospital in Texas because of unsafe conditions. CCHR is also calling on whistleblowers, patients and their families to speak out.

There is a systemic problem there. — Brian Stoltz, an assistant U.S. attorney representing CMS

Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) applauds U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn’s decision which will allow federal regulators to cut Medicare and Medicaid funding to the Timberlawn psychiatric hospital in Texas.[1] Owned by Universal Health Services (UHS), Timberlawn had requested a temporary restraining order to keep regulators from shutting off millions of dollars in federal funds, ordered after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found unsafe conditions that led to at least one woman’s death and other patients' assaults, according to The Dallas Morning News.[2] Court records reported that a patient’s suicide had “triggered a series of state and federal inspections.”[3]

Since February, the hospital had flunked multiple safety inspections and failed to make promised improvements, records showed. In June, CMS inspectors also found Timberlawn workers had falsified records to avoid scrutiny in a patient-harm case. “There is a systemic problem there,” said Brian Stoltz, an assistant U.S. attorney representing CMS.[4]

Jan Eastgate, President CCHR International stated: “For several years, former employees of a number of UHS psychiatric facilities or patients and their family members have raised concerns about issues similar to that heard by the Texas court in relation to Timberlawn. CCHR is calling on other whistleblowers, patients and their families to come forward.”

(Those wishing to file a report can fill out the form here—all information is kept in strict confidence.)

A CMS official said the agency would stop reimbursements for new government-insured patients at Timberlawn starting on Friday, August 14, 2015, and will continue payments only on existing patients for up to 30 days.[5]

Read the full article here.

References:

[1] Timberlawn Mental Health System v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, in her official capacity as Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division, Case No. 3:15-CV-2556-M, August 13, 2015. Barbara M.G. Lynn, U.S. District Judge Decision (see PDF attachment on the right sidebar of this article).
[2] Ibid.; Reese Dunklin, “Judge rules regulators can stop funding Timberlawn psychiatric hospital,” Dallas Morning News, August 13, 2015, dallasnews.com/news/metro/20150813-judge-rules-regulators-can-stop-funding-timberlawn-psychiatric-hospital.ece.
[3] Op cit. Timberlawn Mental Health System v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
[4] Op cit., Reese Dunklin, Dallas Morning News.
[5] Op cit., Reese Dunklin, Dallas Morning News.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Media Department
@CCHRInt
Follow >
CCHR International
since: 04/2010
Like >
Follow us on
Visit website