Arizona State Hospital update: Lawmaker introduces bill to require full audit of AZ mental hospital

PHOENIX - The state's house minority leader introduced a bill this week that would require a full performance audit of the Arizona State Hospital.

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, is sponsoring HB2357 . He's asking for an audit of the state's only publicly run psychiatric hospital because of a series of ABC15 investigations.

"It seems like this whole ship is broken, and they need to right the ship," Campbell said.

The ABC15 Investigators have been investigating the state hospital for more than a year. Our reports have exposed an alarming number of escapes , a shocking level of violence and a lack of treatment and care for patients.

A patient also died in September because the hospital didn't properly monitor him or provide adequate medical care, records show.

ABC15's reports also triggered a federal inspection , which the hospital failed. If officials don't correct "serious deficiencies," the hospital could lose certification and millions of dollars in federal Medicare reimbursements.

Read the full inspection report

After watching ABC15's stories, Campbell met with top hospital officials. He said he was misled about conditions at the hospital.

"They gave us this rosy picture that everything was great, everything was fine," Campbell said.

The last time an audit was conducted at the Arizona State Hospital was in 1999. Auditors discovered staffing shortages, a failure to provide adequate therapy for patients and a lack of ability to intervene in patient disputes.

The hospital wasn't due for another audit until 2019.

State health and hospital officials said they won't comment on pending legislation.

HB2357 has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

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