If the near-lethal police shooting of Alan Pean had occurred anywhere else, we could still be waiting for the official record of events.
But the August shooting that almost killed Pean when he was in the throes of a mental health episode happened at St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston. As a hospital, the facility receives funds from Medicare and Medicaid, and just days after it happened, federal investigators from the Department of Health and Family’s Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services swooped in to make sure the hospital was in compliance with the guidelines for those federal health insurance programs.
Now, only a month and change later, an official, legally valid 51-page report of the incident has been made public by the CMS, and the hospital has been found to be severely deficient in many of those guidelines. In a letter, the CMS has given the institution until Thursday to come up with a plan of complete compliance—or have all of its federal funding revoked on October 16th.
“[The report] determined that St Joseph Medical Center no longer meets the requirements for participation in the Medicare program because of deficiencies that represent immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety,” the letter read, emphasis by the CMS.
Among the investigation’s findings: the hospital “failed to ensure there were systems in place that protect the patient right to safe and appropriate care,” and that the hospital “failed to have systems in place to maintain the safety of confused patients and ensure they receive appropriate healthcare intervention when they exhibit aggressive behavior towards staff.” In the end, this lead to the unjustifiable shooting of a confused mentally ill patient, the report found.
The accounts given to federal investigators are harrowing.