The Brattleboro Retreat has until September 2 to file plans for correcting problems found during a recent inspection. The hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid contracts could be terminated if it fails to comply.
The retreat’s latest problems surfaced in an inspection that was prompted by an altercation on the hospital’s adolescent unit, which sent four employees to the hospital. Regulators say the retreat followed proper protocol in that incident, but they found new problems that were deemed potential threats to
The violations included a cracked light fixture that a patient could have used to inflict harm and a key that broke off in a patient’s locked door. The hospital was also cited for an incident involving sexual contact between two adolescent patients, and for not conducting the required internal review after the incident was discovered. Retreat spokesman Konstantine von Krusenstiern says the hospital has already begun correcting the problems. He says the regulators’ close scrutiny can be challenging but leads to constant improvement.
"I don’t want to underplay the seriousness of this," Krusenstiern says. "But I’m totally confident that when the surveyors return we’ll be back in full compliance and the contract will continue uninterrupted."
If its plan of correction is approved the retreat must put it into practice and pass another unannounced inspection by October 6.