CEO exits Utah hospital amid license sanction

Jim Hess is no longer CEO of Midvale, Utah-based Highland Ridge Hospital as the psychiatric facility risks losing its license.

Katie England, a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed the departure to Becker's but deferred to the hospital for further information related to the decision. Becker's has reached out to the hospital and will update the story if a comment is received.

Mr. Hess' exit comes as Highland Ridge was issued a license with amended conditions. 

In a March 8 letter to Mr. Hess from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, state officials said it was issuing a license with amended conditions because of the hospital's "failure to comply with the conditions in the existing license which prohibited violations of state administrative rules which are repeat violations which were the basis of the conditional license."

Highland Ridge was previously placed on a conditional license, effective Feb. 1, according to a letter dated Jan. 30 that cited compliance issues from the previous two years. 

In the March 8 letter, DHHS said it conducted a monitoring inspection on Feb. 29 to determine if compliance had been achieved, and the hospital was cited at that time for repeat rule violations that were included in the basis of the conditional license. Violations listed in the letter include failure "to provide sufficient supervision to ensure a safe and secure living environment to two residents," as well as failure "to ensure discharge planning was coordinated with other parties or agencies who were able to meet a patient's needs upon discharge," and not completing several investigations in accordance in facility policy.  

"Based on these additional repeat non-compliances, the department has determined additional conditions are necessary to be placed on this license for incidents that occurred after the conditional license was issued," the letter states.

Ms. England said the conditional license requires the facility to meet additional requirements, including hiring an onsite monitor. 

"This 40-hour-per-week onsite monitor will be hired at the expense of the facility and the person must be approved by DHHS," she told Becker's. "This is one of the strictest conditions DHHS imposes on a facility. This independent monitor is in addition to the increased DHHS monitoring already required by their conditional license." 

Ms. England said state officials also required Highland Ridge to significantly increase the number of hours of the independent monitor to ensure the facility is complying with rules and regulations.

DHHS may impose further sanctions in the future if it deems the hospital has not shown substantial compliance with rules.  

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars