GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Those struggling with mental illness face a lot of challenges, but some patients at a local mental health center, say the hospital they relied on for treatment caused them more harm than good, “I don’t feel like I could ever get the proper care there,” Melody Duran of Mesa County says.
Duran sought care at Mind Springs clinic for help with her seizure disorder as well as PTSD, “I personally am not going back, I just feel like I can’t get anywhere like I just run into brick walls with them,” Duran says.
Duran is now leaving the county to seek help elsewhere. She says when a new doctor stepped in at Mind Springs, things got scary, “My daughter is in the medical field and she told me they are crazy what they are doing to you, she says they are going to kill you,” Duran says.
Duran was taking a prescribed drug to combat seizure’s when a Mind Springs doctor switched her medication to something Duran repeatedly told them she was severely allergic to, “She said well I’ve been doing this for four or five years, I say and I’ve been living this for 62 years,” Duran said.
A state investigation found nine outstanding gaps in Mind Springs hospitals treatment plans. Out of a sample of 58 Mind Springs outpatient clients, nearly half received a quality of care so poor that it was categorized as having a potentially severe and life-threatening impact, “Many gaps have been closed but the quality of care review is on going because their is more work to do at Mind Springs,” Patrick Gordon, CEO of Rocky Mountain Health Plans says.
The Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing conducted an audit on Mind Springs Health, “There is a disconnect between the voice of the community and what Mind Springs was recognizing and addressing and would step up to address,” Kim Bimestefer, HCPF Executive Director says.
HCPF officials say they met with Mind Springs and the process got easier once they had a willing partner, “Mind Springs is actually compliant, the issue is they are compliant with something that needed to be improved,” Bimestefer says.
HCPF has now released new compliance rules that went out this month and are due back from Mind Springs in November, “The process we have put in place at Mind Springs includes a new set of reporting requirements, and a new set of performance requirements with financial consequences,” Gordon says.
On top of new requirements, Mind Springs Health will be held to a higher standard of safe prescribing, transparency, and access to care. Duran, and others patients tell KREX 5, even current care remains unsafe, and the measures are too little, too late.