- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) - Federal inspectors discovered serious problems at a county-run psychiatric hospital in central Wisconsin and threatened to halt Medicare funding, according to a newspaper report.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found 32 deficiencies at the Norwood Health Center in Marshfield during visits between January and May, according to the News-Herald Media (https://wrtnews.co/1Ms25NL ), which reviewed more than 120 pages of documents obtained under the state’s open records law.

The deficiencies included dangerously low staffing levels, insufficient information in medical records and failure to use the least-restrictive methods of restraining patients.

Norwood is a 16-bed psychiatric hospital owned and operated by Wood County that provides in-patient treatment for the mentally ill, developmentally disabled and people in crisis. The facility offers short-term treatment and long-term care for the chronically mentally ill.

In an email to the newspaper, Wood County Human Services Director Kathy Roetter said inspectors said during a site visit in July that the problems had been corrected and that Norwood was in full compliance with federal regulations. She also said she had not yet received documentation from federal authorities reflecting that determination.

The county had to submit multiple plans of correction explaining how it would fix the violations and take action to prevent them in the future. The hospital also agreed to hire a consultant, conduct trainings and perform an internal audit to ensure future compliance.

The inspection process is ultimately beneficial because it helps Norwood constantly improve, Wood County Board Chairman Lance Pliml said.

“I actually welcome those additional set of eyes,” he said. “Patient care is at the forefront, and we want to make sure we deliver that at a more than adequate level, because safety is paramount.”


Information from: News-Herald Media, https://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com

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