The Crisis Station in Wilmington is no longer able to accept new patients. The Department of Health and Human Services slapped the clinic with hefty fines for a variety of serious charges. The Crisis Station is a clinic for patients with substance abuse problems and mental health issues. After a recent complaint, DHHS launched an investigation, and found the clinic was violating clients' rights. A 60 page document outlines the findings of a DHHS investigation of Wilmington's Crisis Station. The clinic faces $12,000 in fines for violating a state statute regarding the harm, abuse or neglect of patients. The crisis station has 20 days to appeal and must submit a plan of correction, which is something deputy director, Susan Hanson, said she's already working on. Hanson would not go on camera but confirmed receipt of the report and said the clinic is going to appeal the fines. The assessment is based on staff interviews and record reviews. One case assessment says a patient entering the Crisis Station for detox smuggled drugs into the clinic. The medical examiner confirmed she died of pneumonia, but the investigation revealed that prior to her death, her vital signs were not being checked by clinic personnel as required. In another case, a psychiatrist said he was too overwhelmed to give basic medical care to an alcohol detox patient, or to check on that patient's lab results. A health inspector with the Department of Health and Human Services said this penalty is only given to health care facilities that are believed to be able to correct the problems. The issue now becomes where do all new patients who would ordinarily go to Crisis Station, go now for health care? The director of DHHS said it could be problematic because that's where the agency refers people in need of medical attention.
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