Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Psychiatric care's peril and profits

Lapses at , ., a major hospital chain with high earnings, have put patients at risk, regulators find. Some have even died.

Psychiatric Solutions Inc. was on its way to becoming the nation's leading provider of private psychiatric care when it snapped up Sierra Vista Hospital in Sacramento in mid-2005.

The company put its well-honed business formula into action: Staffing fell. Beds filled up. Profits soared.

It was a winning strategy for investors. But for some patients, federal records show, checking into Sierra Vista proved dangerous -- at times deadly.


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