Western State Hospital said federal regulators Friday tentatively accepted the hospital’s plan to address problems that threaten patient safety.
Once the improvement plan is approved, all changes it proposes must be in place by Saturday for the psychiatric hospital in Lakewood to avert a loss of $64 million in federal funding.
Inspectors from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are expected back at the hospital before that deadline to check.
Western State Hospital CEO Ron Adler sent a letter Friday to the Medicare agency describing what he said was the agency’s stated willingness to accept the improvement proposal “with some changes and clarifications.” Attached to the letter was an updated plan with those tweaks.
The improvement plan includes canceling a planned expansion; using restraint and isolation of patients only as a last resort; not taking staff away from high-risk wards; and training all staff in “de-escalation” techniques.
If the follow-up inspection satisfies inspectors, that doesn’t end the threat. The hospital will have to then start working on long-term improvements.