Despite significant safety violations, including care lapses related to patient deaths and abuse, more than 100 psychiatric hospitals are still fully accredited by the Joint Commission. This was revealed in a database investigation by The Wall Street Journal.
The recent federal data available revealed that the non-profit accrediting organization revoked or denied full accreditation to less than 1 percent of psychiatric hospitals it reviewed in fiscal year 2014 and 2015.
About 16 percent of those hospitals each year operated with such severe safety violations and jeopardized their federal funding, state inspectors found.
But troubled hospitals use their continued accreditation to attract new patients, even though some facilities lost Medicare funding due to ongoing safety incidents.
Infact, the Joint Commission is the only accrediting organization with a federally approved psychiatric-hospital accreditation program for Medicare.
The WSJ previously reported that the Joint Commission continued to accredit a variety of hospitals despite safety violations. Patients and staff at inpatient psychiatric hospitals are vulnerable because many patients are suicidal and are treated without family members to serve as their advocates.
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