A team from the Vermont Division of Licensing and Protection is at the Brattleboro Retreat this week conducting an unannounced inspection.
The state inspectors are at the psychiatric hospital on behalf of the federal agency that governs Medicare and Medicaid. The Retreat stands to lose its federal funding if problems cited in two recent inspections haven’t been corrected.
The Retreat’s problems with the Medicare agency date back to May when a patient on its adolescent unit attempted suicide. The patient later died at another institution. An inspection in June found new violations, including a cracked light fixture and a key broken off in a lock, a situation the inspectors said could have compromised access to a patient’s room. Inspectors returned in August following an altercation on the hospital’s adolescent unit. That survey uncovered another problem involving the Retreat’s response to an incident of "inappropriate sexual contact" between two adolescents.
The Medicare agency has already accepted the Retreat’s plan for correcting the problems. If the hospital is found to have successfully implemented its correction plan, federal reimbursements will continue uninterrupted.