Mass. men­tal health prac­tices ex­am­ined af­ter Taun­ton ram­page

Metro USA (Boston) - - BOSTON - JA­SON NUCKOLLS

The state’s han­dling of men­tal health pa­tients is now be­ing scru­ti­nized af­ter the Tues­day killing spree in Taun­ton, al­legedly com­mit­ted by a pa­tient re­cently re­leased from psy­chi­atric care.

The al­leged per­pe­tra­tor in Tues­day’s stab­bing ram­page that left two vic­tims dead and two oth­ers in­jured, Arthur DaRosa, had been taken to Mor­ton Hos­pi­tal for psy­chi­atric treat­ment at 5 p.m. on Mon­day and was re­leased at 4 a.m. on Tues­day, the day of the at­tack, the Bos­ton Globe re­ported. He was killed dur­ing the at­tack.

“It could have been pre­vented,” Liz DaRosa, the sus­pect’s aunt, was quoted by WCVB. “They didn’t treat him for what his sick­ness was or his men­tal ill­ness.”

Mor­ton Hos­pi­tal has in­di­cated that it had beds avail­able for psy­chi­atric care, but a state con­trac­tor was re­spon­si­ble for de­cid­ing how to han­dle re­sources in con­nec­tion to DaRosa’s case, the Globe added.

Un­der cur­rent state pol­icy, a hos­pi­tal­iza­tion can be or­dered if a pa­tient eval­u­a­tion finds a like­li­hood for “se­ri­ous harm” re­sult­ing from men­tal ill­ness, CBS Bos­ton re­ported.

Mor­ton Hos­pi­tal is­sued a state­ment say­ing its pro­fes­sion­als had been ad­vo­cat­ing for years for a state re­view of its use of third par­ties in pa­tient eval­u­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to WCVB. “The cur­rent pol­icy man­dat­ing that the eval­u­a­tion process must be car­ried out by a third­party state con­trac­tor is mis­guided,” the hos­pi­tal state­ment said.

A Mas­sachusetts Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fice of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices spokesman had pre­vi­ously told the Globe that the state body “will fully co­op­er­ate with law en­force­ment dur­ing the on­go­ing crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion and will care­fully re­view the de­tails of this sit­u­a­tion.”

On Thurs­day af­ter­noon, Mor­ton Hos­pi­tal an­nounced that one third-party con­trac­tor would no longer be al­lowed to con­duct men­tal eval­u­a­tions on Med­i­caid pa­tients in the hos­pi­tal’s ER, the Bos­ton Globe re­ported in a sep­a­rate ar­ti­cle.

“Ef­fec­tive [Thurs­day], 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,” the Globe re­ported the hos­pi­tal’s state­ment on the de­ci­sion.

Mor­ton Hos­pi­tal GOOGLE MAPS

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