I-Team: Federal Report Details Alleged Patient Dumping - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Federal Report Details Alleged Patient Dumping

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LAS VEGAS -- Federal health officials said Nevada failed to ensure patient safety at a Las Vegas mental health facility.

The I-Team obtained a federal report criticizing instances of mental patients bused to different states.

The report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is a rare inside look at how patients are treated at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital.

Federal investigators said they found specific instances where Nevada health professionals improperly sent patients away with little to no help.

A man described as Patient No. 1 was bused to Sacramento, Calif., in early February.

He had stayed at a Las Vegas group home the past year and wanted to return.

A clinical social worker called one facility that said they had no room and called no other locations, according to the report.

The patient then said he wanted to go to California, despite having no known connections.

Federal investigators said that even though state physicians knew the patient was psychotic with hallucinations, they granted his request and sent him on a bus with a supply of drugs and nutritional drinks.

The report outlines eight patients bused as far as Oklahoma and Boston with no escort and no family plans.

Some of those patients were also not given directions to the nearest treatment center in the cities where they were sent, according to the report.

The federal report also said Rawson-Neal "failed to ensure an effective governing body was legally responsible for the hospital's conduct."

Rawson-Neal contends it does not "dump patients," but instead "allow patients to contribute to their discharge planning."

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