August 17, 2013

Maine psychiatric facility could lose $20 million

A federal agency says Riverview Psychiatric Center is not complying with guidelines.

By Steve Mistler
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 2)

click image to enlarge

This aerial photo taken on Tuesday April 30, 2013 shows The Riverview Psychiatric Center on banks of Kennbec River in Augusta. The Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta is in danger of losing about $20 million in federal funding because the facility is out of compliance with federal guidelines.

Joe Phelan / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

The Riverview Psychiatric Center is located on the east side of Augusta.

Joe Phelan / Staff Photographer

Related Documents

PDF: Termination notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
The Aug. 14 notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services notifying the Riverview Psychiatric Center that the facility remains out of compliance with federal mandates and that federal funding could be terminated by Sept. 2.
Read the memo requesting the carry-over of legislation
This is the June 25 email from Nick Adolphsen, legislative liaison for DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, asking the Legislature’s budget-writing committee to hold over L.D. 1515 until next session. The bill would have created additional beds at the Maine State Prison in Warren to accommodate a backlog of forensic patients at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for DHHS forwarded all questions to McEwen.

According to her written remarks from the May 10 public hearing on L.D. 1515, McEwen did not mention the audit or the pending federal action to the criminal justice panel. She did, however, underscore the importance of the bill and increasing safety problems at Riverview.

She said staff at Riverview rarely report assaults at the facility. However, there were 102 injuries reported in 2012. Sixty-five of the injuries were inflicted by forensic clients, resulting in 23 injuries that could have warranted loss of work time because of federal work-safety laws.

"When clients at Riverview are violent and aggressive, not only are staff at risk, but often other hospital clients who, because of their illnesses are vulnerable, are at risk and often easy prey for those with violent tendencies," McEwen told the panel.

Riverview received more than $18.2 million in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in fiscal year 2012. The federal appropriation has fluctuated year to year.

Lawmakers could take up L.D. 1515 in a special legislative session, but it's not yet clear if the state has funding for the bill. The Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal office recently reported a $58 million revenue surplus from the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

Twitter: @stevemistler

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