Morton Hospital bans psych subcontractor in wake of rampage

Source: Jennifer Miller, Boston Herald, May 12, 2016

“Effective today, Morton Hospital has banned the state selected sub-contractor Norton Emergency Services AKA Taunton Attleboro Emergency Services (NES/TAES) from evaluating or recommending treatment for any patient at Morton Hospital,” Morton Hospital spokesperson Michele Fasano said in a statement. “During the period of 12:30A.M. to 8:00 A.M. this morning, NES/TAES failed to evaluate multiple patients in our Emergency Department in a timely way and when Morton Hospital proposed to do the evaluations ourselves we were rebuffed or ignored by the subcontractor. This inability of the state subcontractor to provide critical and timely services continues to put patients at risk.” … Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders told the Herald yesterday the Department of Public Health is investigating procedures at Morton Hospital, where relatives say a depressed and delusional Arthur DaRosa, 28, checked in Monday night but was discharged early Tuesday morning to the family’s surprise. Authorities say DaRosa then stabbed two people in a home on Myricks Street — killing an 80-year-old woman and injuring her daughter — Tuesday night before driving four miles, crashing a car into the front entrance of a Macy’s department store at the Silver City Galleria, and getting out to attack several others, including inside a restaurant, killing a 56-year-old teacher, authorities said.

“NES/TAES is subcontracted through MassHealth and is charged by law with the responsibility of evaluating MassHealth patients who enter the Morton Hospital Emergency Department,” Fasano said in the statement. “Morton Hospital has previously advocated to utilize our own hospital credentialed and vetted medical personnel to conduct such evaluations as it does with Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, and other payers. However, state policy has mandated that these evaluations be carried out by third party subcontractors such as NES/TAES. …