Montana’s mental health treatment system has taken so many hits over the last few years. It began in the 2017-2018 budget crisis and continued on through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest domino to fall is the crisis at Montana State Hospital. I have attached two recent articles
The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 4, to learn more about the Immediate Jeopardy citation that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued last week for the Montana State Hospital.
An agenda and information on participating in the meeting will be posted to the committee’s website on Friday, Feb. 25. Here is the link to the Committee’s website. https://leg.mt.gov/committees/interim/cfhhs/
We expect that there will either be an opportunity for public comment at the Committee hearing or you can send a message to the Committee through their website.
Montana State Hospital and its staff are such an essential resource to Montana families affected by mental illness. We will keep you posted as this continues to unfold.
Thank you,
Matt Kuntz
Executive Director

Montana State hospital has 23 days to correct “serious threat” to patient safety or lose funding

Seaborn Larson
February 18, 2022
Helena Independent Record
A federal agency has given the Montana State Hospital 23 days to correct noncompliance issues so severe that the agency determined patients’ health and safety are in immediate danger, or else the state’s only psychiatric hospital will lose its federal funding.
The violations that spurred the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to potentially strike its federal funding agreement with the Warm Springs facility: patients rights and infection prevention control.
In a Feb. 18 letter to Montana State Hospital administrator Kyle Fouts, CMS said it intends to terminate the hospital’s Medicare provider agreement on March 13. Termination of that agreement can only be averted by correction of the hospital’s actions by that date.
According to the letter, CMS inspectors pored over the facility from Feb. 8 through 10. By the end of the survey on Feb. 10, the state hospital was in an immediate jeopardy situation, although the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, which operates the facility, has denied it was under that status when inspectors left the facility.
Read the full article at this link.

Report details deficiencies tied to 4 deaths at Montana State Hospital

 

Seaborn Larson
February 23, 2022
Helena Independent Record
“Kathy Toavs, a dementia patient at the Montana State Hospital, fell 13 times in less than two months before the last fall claimed her life.
The series of preventable incidents was noted by federal inspectors this month. The inspection, conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, identified four patient deaths attributable to the hospital’s noncompliance with federal rules.
The report following that inspection outlines the fatal consequences of failing to prevent patients from falling, as well as operating without a plan to contain a deadly COVID-19 outbreak inside the facility in Warm Springs.”
Read the full article at this link.