LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The troubled Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has a passed a key inspection. The results allow federal dollars to continue to flow to the facility.
The passing grade likely means that Nevada taxpayers won’t be forced to foot extra costs for operating Nevada’s only state-run psychiatric hospital.
The medicare dollars will alleviate pressure on the county-run university medical center.
"I think it's a big plus that they've gotten the CMS Certification now and it allows them to function fully as a licensed, mental health hospital," said UMC Chief of staff Dale Carrison.
UMC on Wednesday had 15 mentally ill patients either awaiting a bed at Rawson-Neal or to receive their prescription drugs.
Sometimes those patients stay a few days at UMC as they wait.
"The bottom line is a fair emergency department will turn a bed over 4 times in 24 hours, every six hours," Carrison said. "More efficient emergency department will turn that bed six times, so if you have one patient in there, those are 4 to 6 patients that could’ve been seen during that 24-hour period that mental health patient was in there."
Rawson-Neal was forced to close its out-patient clinic in January to comply with federal regulations.
The clinic was designed to ease stress on emergency rooms overrun by mental health patients with nowhere else to go.
The feds said the walk-in clinic wasn’t legal because it didn't have an emergency department.
There are no plans to re-open it.
With the passage of this most recent test, Rawson-Neal can move ahead with its key challenge - providing enough beds for the people who need them.
"It's easy to throw blame and its harder to throw good job and were there; now let's keep it that way and lets move forward so we can address the real problem," Carrison said.
State health officials agree there is a lack of options to keep mentally ill out of local ERs.
They say Nevada needs more money to pay for new programs that would speed up the process of getting them the help they need.