Unsafe Haven: The Latest

Charter Announces It Will Close Two Hospitals

Since Unsafe Haven was first broadcast in March, there have been several new developments. Charter closed three hospitals and fired several employees; the agency charged with overseeing private mental hospitals stepped up its inspections; and the state of North Carolina investigated several hospitals, confirming CBS News' allegations. Below is an overview of what has happened:
  • Two Hospitals To Close: Charter announced that it will close its hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Terrance Johnson worked with a hidden camera, as well as Charter's Tampa Bay hospital in Largo, Florida. Both hospitals failed surprise inspections by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations last month. A spokesperson for the Joint Commission said that the inspections were provoked by the CBS broadcast.
  • Employees Fired: Charter Pines, in Charlotte, North Carolina, fired a number of employees who were shown in the CBS broadcast. Charter has not confirmed the exact number.
  • North Carolina Investigates, And Its Findings Support CBS News Allegations: The State of North Carolina investigated Charter Pines and cited the hospital for two violations, including one that was reported in Unsafe Haven when a boy's arm, which had recently been broken, was re-injured during a restraint.
  • The Joint Commission Does 18 Surprise Inspections: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations did 18 unannounced surveys in Charter hospitals around the country. Three hospitals, Charter Pines, Charter Tampa Bay in Largo, Florida, and Charter Westbrook in Westbrook, Virgninia, lost their accreditation. Two were conditionally accredited. Thirteen were accredited with recommendations for improvement.
  • The Federal Government Warns Three Hospitals They Could Lose Funding: The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration has put three Charter hospitals on notice that they may lose their Medicare and Medicaid funding, based on inspections done after Unsafe Haven was broadcast. Those hospitals are Charter North Star in Anchorage Alaska, Charter Pembroke in Pembroke, Massachusetts, and Charter Brookside in Nashua, New Hampshire. The hospitals have three months to take corrective action, or they lose their federal funding.
  • Tristan Sovern's mother, Jean Allen, along with her husband started Tristan's Quest, a non-profit group that will do research on safe treatment of mentally ill children and adolescents. Tristan died last year while being restrained at a Charter hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. Allen was subsequently interviewed for Unsafe Haven, and testified before a Senate hearing on restraint. To find out more about Tristan's Quest, email Jean and Richard Allen at doctorjean@att.net.
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