- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - State officials said Tuesday that federal officials are satisfied with the progress made at Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital, which had been at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal funding later this week over concerns about patient safety.

Officials with the state Department of Social & Health Services said regulators with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services visited the Lakewood facility this week before determining that the hospital will be able to move forward on long-term improvements.

Those improvements involve a range of issues from staffing shortages to lack of sufficient treatment hours and lack of engagement of dangerous patients.

The facility receives $4.7 million from Medicaid and $11.2 million from Medicare annually, according to state officials.

The Lakewood, Washington, hospital has been under threat of losing federal funds four times this year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had previously said it will end its provider agreement with the 842-bed facility on Nov. 28.

“The most immediate concerns have been addressed, and this is just the first step to ensure Western State Hospital provides a better quality of care and improves the safety of staff and patients,” Carla Reyes, assistant secretary of the Behavioral Health and Service Integration Administration at DSHS said in a written statement.

A spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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