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Health and Medicine
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Feds Accept Plan To Mitigate Suicide Risk At Western State Hospital

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Western State Hospital is Washington state's largest psychiatric facility.


Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital is no longer in immediate jeopardy of losing federal funding.

Last week, federal inspectors found serious safety violations at Western State Hospital that could put patients at risk of suicide. They spent several days at Western State looking for full compliance with federal standards. Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has accepted the hospital’s immediate plan to address the suicide risk issues.

The hospital has been in a sort of turnaround mode for the last two years. A number of problems leading up to 2016 emerged at the hospital ranging from management failures to significant safety issues that imperiled the health and safety not just of the patients, but the staff at this hospital.??

This most recent inspection is widely viewed as the hospital’s last chance to meet federal standards. Final survey results are expected at the end of June. At stake is $65 million in federal funding each year that goes to help run this hospital.