Mind Springs Health is the Western Slope’s only inpatient psychiatric hospital serving Mesa and 10 other counties. Now they’re dealing with holds on payment and multiple investigations after two fired employees, a chief medical officer, and a nurse practitioner raised serious concerns about the safety of children and teen patients last week.

John Sheehan has been the CEO of Mind Springs Health for less than two months. He came in with high aspirations for the facility.  Even now as 3 agencies investigate mind springs, he maintains his goals, saying, “We haven’t had a stop of service and patients are safe and we’re endeavoring to make this the best organization in the state of Colorado. I want this to be the best psyche hospital, the best community health center, the best behavioral health center in the country, right? I’ve been here sixty days we’re just starting that journey.” Mind springs may remain open, but it’s not business as usual.   The former employee’s complaints questioning the treatment of young patients have led Rocky Mountain Health plans to stop authorizing in-patient mental health services and start an investigation.  The state’s new behavioral health administration and the department of healthcare policy and financing also opened audits.

Sheehan told KREX that the only findings he has been informed of so far were things like phone cords that were not secured properly and could be potential hazards but not anything regarding the complaint in question. He does acknowledge that anything found needs to be fixed, “If there’s a suggestion that there’s something else wrong, they’re completely justified coming in here and asking these questions.”

Sheehan believes the situation was mishandled, saying that “Rocky Mountain health plans has a contract, which I didn’t negotiate, which says that says they can stop payment without a finding.   That doesn’t mean they should do that.

The tragedy for Medicaid patients from 10 counties who need inpatient care is they must now travel to Denver or Salt Lake City.

Sheehan laments that this situation, “seriously disrupts the system of care in this community and for the last week the patients have not been getting the care they need because of this.

Sheehan hopes the state audits will wrap up soon and so that he can get back to rebuilding the organization after its previous CEO Sharon Raggio resigned after an investigation revealed serious problems with care and lack of transparency.

Sheehan says the two employees who filed the complaints were fired for the cause, but the Department of Regulatory Agencies confirms neither has a history of disciplinary action.