Ohio psychiatric hospital CEO departs as state threatens to revoke hospital's license

The CEO of Sequel Pomegranate in Columbus, Ohio, is no longer in her role amid a state probe into restraint incidents at the acute care hospital and psychiatric facility, according to local TV station WBNS

The station confirmed with an individual who answered the phone at Sequel Pomegranate on Dec. 12 that Angela Nickell had departed. Sequel Pomegranate did not return a subsequent voicemail left by WBNS. Ms. Nickell did not respond to messages from the station seeking comment.

Ms. Nickell's departure comes as the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is threatening to revoke Sequel Pomegranate's license.

In a letter sent to Sequel Pomegranate Nov. 1, the state said it is proposing to suspend admissions of residents to Sequel Pomegranate, as well as revoke the acute psychiatric inpatient hospital license for the facility.

"This action arises from the unannounced survey conducted by the department [of mental health and addiction services] on Oct. 28, 2019, which resulted in substantiated findings of a significant nature," the department wrote. 

The state said video review of two restraint incidents on Oct. 25, review of a patient's medical record and discussion with hospital staff led to the findings. The letter outlines specific alleged violations of Ohio Administrative Code. 

For instance, the state alleges a nurse "wrapped her left arm around the patient's neck" during initiation of a restraint on Oct. 25, and during that same patient restraint, "the patient was taken to the floor in a prone position and maintained in this position for 40 seconds." 

The state contends these findings and various others related to restraint incidents of that patient in October show the hospital violated state law.

The state gave Sequel Pomegranate 30 days from Nov. 1 to request a hearing to contest the allegations. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14 and Jan. 15.

This is not the first time Sequel Pomegranate has come under scrutiny. Earlier this year, CMS threatened to pull the hospital's Medicare funding over patient safety issues, including failing to conduct physical assessments of some patients after an assault or injury. The hospital submitted a correction plan, and as of September was no longer in jeopardy of losing its Medicare contract

 

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