Texas Moves to Shut Down Timberlawn Psych Hospital Over Patient Safety

This story is breaking and is being updated.Texas health officials are trying to close Timberlawn psychiatric hospital over safety problems after a 13-year-old girl reported that she was raped there last fall by another patient, a 17-year-old boy.The state's move to revoke Timberlawn's license, announced Friday, is one of the strongest steps it can take against healthcare facilities. The hospital was already the only psych facility on probation with the state because of past safety violations. Timberlawn said it plans to appeal. In 2016, it successfully fought a similar shut-down effort, in part by paying a fine and agreeing to improve patient care.“Moving toward license revocation is absolutely warranted here,” said Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees psychiatric hospitals.“We continued to see the same problems over and over again, some of them quite serious,” she said. “We have to hold hospitals accountable, especially when patient rights and safety are concerned."The state also threatened Timberlawn with a $600,000 fine.Timberlawn is the oldest residential facility for mentally ill patients in the Dallas area and has historically been one of the largest. It is owned by Universal Health Services, a $10 billion publicly traded company that operates hundreds of hospitals nationwide, including others in North Texas.A spokeswoman for Universal Health Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Continue reading...

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