Washington's largest psychiatric hospital loses certification, federal dollars

SEATTLE  — Washington state's largest psychiatric hospital has lost its federal certification and $53 million in federal funds after failing to achieve basic health and safety standards.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified the state Department of Social and Health Services on Monday that it will not make payments for patients admitted to Western State Hospital after July 8. They'll cover current patients for up to 30 days.

The 800-plus bed facility has been plagued by problems for years that ranged from assaults on health-care workers to escapes by dangerous patients.

CMS continued to threaten funds as the agency tried to get the hospital back on track, but an unannounced survey last month found a list of violations that pushed the hospital out of compliance.

State officials say they're reviewing the CMS report and will continue to make improvements, despite the loss of certification.