A psychiatric hospital that opened in Middleton in August was cited by inspectors this month for not letting patients have visitors, despite a policy allowing them, and for not documenting the resolution of patient grievances.
Miramont Behavioral Health, which got a new owner in January, received five federal citations and two state citations after an inspection April 5-11 that was conducted in response to a complaint, according to inspection reports. The facility was found to be in compliance with Medicare requirements overall, with the federal violations resulting in “standard level” citations, not infractions considered more serious.
Will Callison, interim CEO at Miramont, said in a statement that the facility’s focus “is to deliver the highest quality care to all patients.” He said Miramont is “in substantial compliance with all regulatory agencies.”
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According to inspectors from the state Department of Health Services, at least three of the 15 patients at the facility hadn’t had in-person or virtual visits from family or friends, despite a written policy allowing such visits.
Miramont administrators told inspectors they weren’t allowing visitors because of COVID-19. But the facility “failed to update their visitation policy to reflect COVID-19 visitor restrictions,” according to one of two inspection reports.
Responses to 12 grievances from patients were not properly documented, inspectors said. “There was no evidence to show any follow-up was done by the client rights specialists or any other staff,” the other report said.
Inspectors said Miramont failed to complete an incident report for a patient who fell and sustained injuries, and who said another patient repeatedly came into his room.
The facility also didn’t have a contingency plan for staff not vaccinated against COVID-19, and it discontinued medications a patient was court ordered to take, making him “afraid to restart them,” according to a worker.
The 72-bed hospital in Middleton’s Airport Road Business Park added to Dane County’s other 100 inpatient psychiatric beds at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, UW Hospital and Stoughton Hospital.
In January, Summit BHC, based in Franklin, Tennessee, purchased Miramont and six other psychiatric hospitals from Memphis, Tennessee-based Strategic Behavioral Health. They include Willow Creek Behavioral Health, which opened in Green Bay in 2017.
Strategic Behavioral Health had regulatory problems, closing a facility in Las Vegas in 2020 after violations. The same year, authorities in Colorado shut down another after numerous citations.
In April 2018, before the city of Middleton approved the Miramont project, the Wisconsin State Journal reported on nine immediate jeopardy citations and other serious actions taken against facilities owned by the company.
The state health department has issued dozens of citations to Willow Creek Behavioral Health, the State Journal reported last year. Most of the violations don’t appear to be as serious as some at the company’s hospitals in other states, but one in 2020 involved a lack of supervision in connection with an adult patient charged with sexual assault of a juvenile patient.