Officials: psychiatric hospital could lose federal funds

Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital could lose millions of federal dollars after it failed to ensure the safety of a patient who was tied down and sedated when he was attacked by another patient.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent Western State Hospital a 90-day termination notice last week. An August inspection found that the facility failed to ensure its patients’ safety and rights.

State officials say they intend to fix the problems and get back into compliance so it won’t lose funding.

The notice comes at a time when the state’s mental health system is under fire on several fronts. A federal judge issued a permanent injunction against the state’s two psychiatric hospitals for failing to provide timely competency services to mentally ill people charged with crimes.