Hospital cleared of wrongdoing after releasing patient hours before fatal rampage

State officials have cleared Taunton, Mass.-based Morton Hospital and a contracted employee of any wrongdoing after a patient killed two people and injured five just hours after his discharge, according to the Boston Herald.

Arthur DaRosa was brought to the Morton emergency room on the evening of May 9 and discharged the following morning. That night, he stabbed two people in their home, killing one. He then drove four miles, crashed into a Macy's, and attacked others, killing one more victim. Mr. DaRosa was later shot by an off-duty deputy sheriff.

State and federal officials launched investigations, which focused on Morton Hospital and state-contracted emergency services providers who conduct mental health evaluations of Medicare patients.

State officials concluded that the state-contracted clinician who treated Mr. DaRosa was properly licensed and did a "thorough and comprehensive evaluation" of Mr. DaRosa's mental health.

However, the federal review of the hospital, which was conducted in May, cited numerous issues at Morton, including that none of the 10 social workers there at the time were credentialed by Morton. The investigation also cites various other failures, including that the hospital "failed to ensure quality care was provided" and lacked oversight of the social workers.

Federal officials did a follow-up evaluation of MortonHospital in early July and determined it was in compliance with federal standards, according to the report.  

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