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State agrees to postpone Dix move

Posted October 2, 2008

— The state Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that it has agreed to postpone the transfer of patients from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh to a new facility in Butner.

In a statement, the agency said it has agreed with patient advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC) to indefinitely postpone a hearing on the matter scheduled for Oct. 6 and "will remain in a holding pattern" regarding its plans.

About 170 adult patients were scheduled to move, beginning Oct. 1, from the state psychiatric hospital in Raleigh to the new $130 million Central Regional Hospital in Butner.

Citing concerns about remaining safety issues at Central Regional and claiming the state has failed to meet conditions for the move as outlined under state law, DRNC last week filed for a restraining order to delay the move.

Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour granted the request, saying the potential harm to patients outweighs the state's desire to move them.

In its statement Thursday, DHHS said it will wait for a report from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services before it decides how to proceed with the move. CMS oversees the federal insurance programs and reimburses health care agencies for treating patients covered under them.

Both Dix and Central Regional are in jeopardy of losing their certifications, partly because of how Central Regional was getting reimbursed.

CMS regulators made an unannounced visit to Central Regional on Sept. 24 to investigate complaints. A report on their findings have not yet been released, and DHHS officials have refused to comment on the inspection.

Eventually, Central Regional will replace both Dix and John Umstead Hospital, which is also in Butner. Umstead patients moved to the facility in July.

For Dix patients to move, state law requires assurances from two accrediting agencies. One, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, won't say Central Regional complies with its standards until patients move in, however.


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  • hdonthefarm Oct 2, 2008

    NC officials won't comment on the results of the surprise inspection? Mmm, you'd kinda think that if the results were in the state's favor, they'd be more than quick to jump out there with their comments, wouldn't you?

  • manofjustice Oct 2, 2008

    Workers lives are in jeopardy. They don't know what tomorrow holds for them so a lot of workers are leaving and now that means that the patient's don't have adequate help. There is a shortage of staff as it is.

  • nic Oct 2, 2008

    Dix gets inspected all the time by JCAHO and CMS. This is not a Dix problem. The administration decided to use Dix's provider number to run CRH. Completely illegal. They should have applied for their own provider number or use JUH provider number. From my understanding they couldn't use JUH number because they were in jeporday of losing funding before they closed. If you want to blame anyone blame this administration for not having a clue what there doing.

  • Weetie Oct 2, 2008

    Yes, yes, yes! Glad to hear it!

  • TStills Oct 2, 2008

    If they continue to go back and forth on Dix like this, they are going to end up with a real mess on their hands.

  • atc2 Oct 2, 2008

    $130M NEW facility, just move them! This is a politcial joke (they are prolonging this until the elections are over, thinking they will be able to keep them at DIX, no way should that happen).

    This group is pathetic and preventing these people new amenities (this group is not helping these people, they are torturing them)

  • dko Oct 2, 2008

    Why don't you just cancel the move and let Dix be in it's own little world , ALSO has Dix been inspected for safety?