Timberlawn psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas, owned by Universal Health Services (UHS), announced it is closing its doors, following state officials threatening to shut it down in the wake of allegations of patient sexual assault, including the rape of a 13-year-old girl under its care. Timberlawn is one of hundreds of behavioral hospitals owned by UHS that boasts being the largest psychiatric hospital chain in the U.S. The facility, along with other UHS behavioral facilities in Texas and other states, has been plagued by allegations of sexual and physical assaults against patients. On January 19, 2018, The Dallas Morning News, which has done extensive investigations into and stories about abuses at Timberlawn, detailed how in recent years the psychiatric facility has been under scrutiny over safety and other issues, including a patient who warned she was suicidal but hanged herself in the facility in 2014. And a female patient alleged a male patient entered her room and raped her.
Business as Usual at America’s Largest Psychiatric Hospital: Patient Sexual Assault, Abuse, Violence
Universal Health Services (UHS), which owns the largest for-profit psychiatric hospital chain in the United States, has had Oklahoma added to the nine other states where the company’s behavioral facilities are under federal investigation for potential billing fraud. In April, the Department of Justice (DOJ) added Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health in Tulsa, Oklahoma to the 26 other UHS facilities under investigation, when it subpoenaed records and opened a criminal investigation. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services also opened investigations into treatment of patients there. Since 2013, the Federal Office of Inspector General and DOJ have been investigating more than two-dozen UHS behavioral facilities and the company’s headquarters in Pennsylvania. It’s been a tough last few months for the embattled UHS. Since June this year, UHS has faced a Medicaid contract being terminated, a psychiatric facility ordered shut down, admissions to another facility stopped, fines of more than $207,000 and eight lawsuits, largely alleging sexual assault or rape of patients, including a 16-year-old boy, while under the care of UHS facilities or its subsidiaries.