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June 27, 2018

Western State Hospital loses federal certification, funding

Despite concerted effort and increased funding in recent years, Western State Hospital will lose its certification for federal funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services after a recent unannounced inspection. Since 2015 the hospital has been under investigation by CMS and has received multiple citations for potential risks to patient safety in that time.

Beginning July 9, the state will have to cover costs associated with admitting new patients, at an estimated annual cost of $53 million. While the state will likely be able to work the expenditure into future budgets without too much disruption, it will have an impact on other pending budget "asks," particularly in the health care arena. Gov. Inslee released a statement in response to the news, reiterating support for further investments in Washington’s mental health system, with an emphasis on community housing that will allow Western State Hospital to transition into becoming a forensic-only facility.

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