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  • #7567
    dickdunseathDick Dunseath
    Participant

    My son was admitted to St Luke’s Behavioral Health Center recently due to increased psychosis. I spoke with him daily during his one week stay and he continued to be detached from reality – said staff was physically abusing him and that I was abusing him telepathically. A staff member called me with concerns regarding his psychosis. Suddenly his doctor declared himn ready for discharge. As guardian I disagreed. We “negotiated”. I agreed to a discharge directly into St Luke’s’ “Momentum” program, a 5-day per week all day in-person program designed to maintain progress regarding psychosis and substance use. After two days he was ejected from Momentum because he was considered too psychotic for that program. I filed a grievance and he was readmitted to this program only to be ejected again as “too psychotic”. I protested that St Luke’s reneged on our understanding he was discharged from in-patient on condition he would participate in its Momentum program. Disgraceful.

    #7571
    acmigold15acmigold15
    Keymaster

    I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. I wish the situation you described was an outlier, but I fear it is not. I hear this far to often to have these situations be outliers. It is a shame that hospitals seem to suffer no consequences for premature discharges. There are real consequences to untreated psychosis (we have webinar material covering this material).
    There are penalties in general healthcare that penalizes the hospital and physicians for bad outcomes. We need to hold the behavioral health providers to the same standards. Our system should do better in protecting our most vulnerable.

    #7652
    karincatherKarin Cather
    Participant

    I am the guardian of my almost-20-year-old son, Noah, who is SMI, DDD, with an IEP and in a special education private school, and living in a BHRF. He has been institutionalized continuously since January 14, 2020, when he was suicidal and had to be talked into dropping a butcher knife. He has 25 or 26 inpatient hospital stays, two RTC stays, and has been on a PHP day program.

    Noah’s first inpatient hospital stay was at Phoenix Children’s when Noah was 10 years old, in 2012, and then again in 2013, and from there, it was at least twice a year.

    In 2018, when Noah was 16, Noah was hospitalized at Banner Scottsdale. There, they took him off all psychotropic medication. They initially sold it to me as “We’ll do a med wash and start from scratch.” Since he’d been on so many medication cocktails, I agreed for the hospital to figure out what medication would work. Almost immediately, Noah became manic.

    For example, Noah told me that he planned to emigrate to the UK and live in London because a friend on YouTube lives there and the most important thing is that there is English candy with real sugar and he wants to be able to go right to the corner store and get some real British candy and no he didn’t want to order it on Amazon dot com, he wanted to be able to buy the candy with real sugar right at the corner and he could do that if he moved to London [repeat]. He was fixated on two other topics, though, and he went rapidly from thought to thought. For instance, he wanted a bearded dragon because they are omnivores and he isn’t afraid of mealworms now and he also wants to adopt a flock of “messenger pigeons” because a fellow patient said that she had [no, you don’t want to know] to a pigeon and he wanted to do something nice for pigeons. And he wanted to buy a huge farm and adopt all the pigeons. [repeat, then back to the candy, then back to the bearded dragons]. To be fair, a bearded dragon is an actual species of lizard.

    Then Banner Scottsdale said they were discharging him. I told them they can’t discharge him on no meds because he’s not stable and Jason McIntyre, the hospital social worker, said, “You can’t cure autism with a pill.” Noah went out on a little bit of Seroquel for sleep. Not even a therapeutic dose for sleep.

    Jason didn’t take the subsequent car ride to Noah’s psychiatrist’s office (that’s Dr. TeeJay Tripp) during rush hour at highway speeds while Noah was agitated and scary and ended up in Aurora Tempe.

    On November 2, 2021, Noah called 911 himself from his group home to report that he wanted to hang himself. He was taken to Banner Thunderbird, where he has never been before, on a 72-hour hold. On Friday, November 5, 2021, I got a call from the hospital social worker, Stephanie C. Kyle, and I expected to hear that Noah was ready to discharge. Instead, she told me that Noah had not been given any psychotropic medication since he got to Banner because, basically, no one at the hospital bothered to call anyone. Or they were doing a stealth medwash and didn’t want to tell me. It’s an even bet which. The story was that one of the four medications, Vraylar, wasn’t in the hospital pharmacy, but they could have called the group home and the group home would have brought the medication over in blister packs. And instead Banner Thunderbird was giving him nothing. Stephanie Kyle talked over me and constantly interrupted me, including to talk about her credentials, and I said, “STOP. You have to listen to me if you’re a social worker.” Instead, she told me that Jason McIntyre was her supervisor now and that he said hi. Then Dr. Monga, the unit psychiatrist, got on the call, which by that point was on speaker phone, and Dr. Monga told me Noah is “doing fine” while taking nothing but levothyroxine for hypothyroidism and not needing PRN Zyprexa. The most either of them would say about doing absolutely nothing to ensure an adult they knew was SMI, in a BHRF, with a guardian got his psychotropic medication was “I hear your frustration.”

    I have a printout of all of Noah’s hospital stays from late 2018 onward, with a sentence about the reason for the hospital stay, and I sent it to Stephanie Kyle. I demanded that Dr. Monga have a doc-to-doc with Dr. Tripp, and I cc’d Dr. Tripp’s office.

    That doc-to-doc took place and Dr. Tripp rightly told Dr. Monga to leave the medication as it was and that happened.

    So Noah went in to Banner Thunderbird on November 2, 2021, on a 72-hour hold and didn’t discharge until November 9, 2021.

    As an aside, Noah’s previous hospital stay was in August and the hospital stay before that was in March, where in response to internet bullying, he ran out of the hospital and lay down in the middle of 51st Avenue at night and a Good Samaritan called 911 to report a dead body. Noah wasn’t hurt, thank God.

    So this is not an adult who needs to be off meds. I guess Dr. Monga could say that he didn’t know any of that and that’s true, but given that he knew nothing of Noah’s history except that he was an adult who is SMI and living in a BHRF and has a guardian, he should at the very least ensure that Noah has his medication, and certainly not by neglect or intentionally effectuate a medwash.

    I did report this to the Joint Commission, by the way, not that I think the Joint Commission will do anything.

    Noah is with Lifewell, now, but I have to switch him to Copa because Dr. Tripp is private pay, and Dr. Tripp recommended Dr. Trudy Dockins, who’s with Copa East Valley, so that’s in process.

    Anyway, thank you so much again!

    Onward and upward,

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 22 hours ago by acmigold15acmigold15.
    #7668
    acmigold15acmigold15
    Keymaster

    Karin,
    I am so sorry that you have had such difficulties getting appropriate care for your son Noah. It is frustrating when hospitalizations start over with medications but from what you reported it seems like it has happened on more than one occasion and hasn’t resulted in even short term stability. I hope you have filed grievances with the SMI system, Mercy Care on these instances.
    Here is the process to report a grievance:
    RHBA- Mercy Care Grievance and Appeals- If you prefer to file your grievance in writing, please send your complaint to:
    Mercy Care Grievance System Department
    4500 E. Cotton Center Blvd.
    Phoenix, AZ 85040
    602-586-1719 or 1-866-386-5794
    Fax: 602-351-2300

    ACMI

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