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State Replaces Chief at Troubled Mental Hospital

Posted December 17, 2007

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— State officials have removed the director of the state's largest mental hospital amid concerns that it may lose accreditation.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that Art Robarge will take charge of Broughton Hospital in Morganton. Seth Hunt will move to the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center and
serve as special assistant to the director.

Broughton serves the state's 37 westernmost counties. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decertified Broughton in August. Officials from The Joint Commission that accredits health-care organizations conducted a survey last week.

The panel said it would recommend to its headquarters that it issue a preliminary denial of accreditation, which would give Broughton 45 days to come into compliance or risk losing payments from private insurance companies.

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