Mental health facility accused of holding patients for money •

JOHNSTOWN, Colorado – In recent months, serious problems have arisen about a mental health facility located in northern Colorado.

In fact, a multitude of complaints have convinced state investigators to take a closer look at the situation of Clear View Behavioral Health in Johnstown.

Two families are at the center of these surveys. Both were turning to mental health professionals to help them cope with crises.

Instead, they claim that the facility and its staff only add to their problems.

Mike is the father of Trevor, 18 years old. We do not share the family's last name in order to protect their privacy.

Trevor is a student who, at the time, had trouble sleeping and was stressed by mid-term exams. Trevor's friends called his father to worry about his mental health.

So Mike had Trevor checked at the Longmont United Hospital. And that's when Mike says their nightmare has begun. Longmont United's doctors refer Trevor to Clear View Behavioral on what is called an "M-1", a 72-hour mental health wait.

"He was wrongly detained for collecting money through insurance," Mike said of his son's time at Clear View.

Mike said that when this 72-hour waiting period was over, Trevor had only met with a doctor at the facility for just a few minutes. However, the staff was telling parents that these doctors needed more time to assess Trevor's mental state. This meant that they would likely ask Trevor to sign a voluntary $ 10,000 per day extension of the M-1 Reserve, at an additional cost to the family and their insurance company.

Mike insists that there was nothing wrong with Trevor, other than the stress of school and that Clear View knew it.

"It's a for-profit hospital," said Mike. "They had already started calling for insurance to see how much they could be paid for."

Trevor confirms that his meetings with Clear View doctors lasted only a few minutes.

Unaware of the process, Trevor said that he would probably have signed the M-1 extension.

"I was there for 72 hours and they were going to keep me longer," recalls Trevor.

It was only when his parents were finally allowed to see him that he understood how hard people were working to get him out.

As soon as Mike realized that his son could be detained longer, he hired a lawyer to represent the family. And then he pushed his fight a little further. He watched recording his meetings with the staff and the hospital management.

In these cell phone records, you can hear a patient rights advocate telling Mike and his wife that Trevor might not be released after the 72 hour waiting period. She informs the family that doctors need more time with Trevor and that Trevor can either sign the voluntary withholding for an additional 72 hours, or the doctor can issue what is called an "Attestation". "certification", which could take weeks and remain permanently. record.

Mike is convinced that without a lawyer, Trevor could have been there for weeks or even months.

"If I did not understand," he told Contact7 Investigates, Mike would probably still be there.

Mike said that once the lawyer informed Clear View that the family's insurance would not pay the $ 10,000 bill a day, Trevor was released in a matter of hours .

Less than a month after Trevor's Clear View experience, a second family contacted Contact7 Investigates. Brittney's father-in-law, Larry, informed the family that he was planning to commit suicide. Again, we protect the privacy of the family by using only their first names.

Brittney said her father was seriously depressed. And Larry, too, got an M-1 holdback and referred to Clear View. Once this 72-hour wait was over, Larry was released. He claimed that he had never been evaluated by an establishment doctor.

Within 24 hours of this release, Larry was again referred to Clear View after complaining of depression and suicidal thoughts. Brittney said the help was the last thing his stepfather had received from staff.

"He did not receive them, not the first time nor the second time," Brittney said.
"All they have done is add to his frustrations … and ask for money."

Brittney said that after requesting that her father be transferred to another facility, Clear View's doctors issued a certificate of certification to Larry, which means that it might be there for weeks. . Larry's stay at Clear View was funded by taxpayers through Medicare. And Brittney said that no earlier than Medicare had announced to the institution that he would not continue to pay the bills that Larry had been released.

Brittney has agreed to talk to Contact7 Investigates because she is convinced that many others have found themselves in the same situation at Clear View.

"Something has to change," said Brittney. "The facilities must be held responsible." Made responsible for what Brittney described as a serious failure at Clear View to help her stepfather.

Brittney also found several reviews posted on Google showing many other concerned people complaining about the care provided by Clear View.

These examinations involved patients and families claiming that Clear View did not care about patients, but about money. Contact7 Investigates also found similar online reviews from former patients claiming that the institution was like a prison.

Even former employees said that Clear View does not care about the safety of patients or staff. Another former employee wrote, "The institution is a shame for the community and the mental health profession."

Clear View responded to each review, generally indicating that their goal was to provide the highest quality of behavioral care to patients and their families.

Brittney has a different grip.

"They may be able to keep people longer than necessary and collect insurance money," she said.

Contact7 Investigates also spoke to a current employee and a former employee. Both refused to go to the camera, but both expressed concerns about what they called "inadequate" patient care and insufficient staffing issues contributing to unsafe working conditions. And they both encouraged federal and federal investigators to find out about possible insurance fraud.

After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain a response form from the management of Clear View Behavioral Health, we visited the Johnstown facility.

We waited in the lobby hoping that someone would meet us to address the concerns expressed by Mike, Trevor, Brittany, Larry and current and former employees.

Instead, we were asked to leave the property, the employee having threatened to call the police if we did not do it.

No answer and no explanation for two Colorado families who have trouble understanding the decisions made by mental health service providers inside the building.

Mike and Trevor want the state to close Clear View. Brittney and Larry ask the state to conduct an investigation.

In fact, Contact7 Investigates confirmed that investigators from two state agencies are now taking a closer look at Clear View practices, which Brittney and Mike insisted on accelerating the implementation of Contact7 Investigates.

A representative of the Attorney General's Office met with Mike last week.

We also received this statement from the Colorado Department of Human Services: "The Office of Behavioral Health is currently investigating two complaints about the involuntary queuing process and we are planning a site visit in the near future."

The Contact7 Investigates team