Parkland could lose $400 million in federal funding because staffers discharged a wounded homeless man who attempted suicide to a shelter that was not equipped to provide care for his severe injuries.
The findings are detailed in a report filed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that declares Parkland Memorial Hospital to be in “immediate jeopardy” of losing its federal funding. Investigators place blame on the hospital system’s board of managers, who failed to assure the man’s safety after receiving care.
According to the findings, the man, known only as Patient No. 5, fractured his spine and broke his wrist and feet while attempting to kill himself. Parkland officials never performed a psychiatric evaluation before discharging him, “even though (the) injuries were sustained due to a suicide” attempt, the report reads.
He also protested the discharge. Parkland staffers responded by calling hospital police, CMS found.
“The patient stated he did not feel safe going to the shelter with three casts on,” the report reads. The employee “reiterated that placement was found and transportation was made,” then consulted with a supervisor.
“Supervisor stated if patient does not accept the safe placement made..he will have to be escorted off the floor by police,” according to the report.
He also acted erratically in the hospital, at one point jumping up from his bed onto his broken feet and screaming, “See what you made me do? Are you happy now?”
CMS officials will tour the entire hospital some time in the next two weeks to make sure the facility is in compliance. For its part, Parkland says it is “reassessing” its emergency department protocols and assuring that they are in line with the National Patient Safety Goals for psychiatric consultation.
In order to better understand where it is discharging the homeless, social workers and managers will visit eight shelters throughout the county to assess 24 elements, such as wheelchair accessibility, locked storage for medications, and “other criterion for admission.” It has reached out to regional and hospital peer groups for recommendations on discharge plans and initiated unannounced monitoring processes.
If CMS finds the system is still not compliant, the feds could yank $400 million in funding on September 6. The full report is below: