Crossroads Behavioral Health in Huntingburg closed a short time after opening in May of this year.
The behavioral health unit specializing in geriatric psychiatric care that opened in the former St. Joseph’s Hospital remains closed and information regarding the closure has not been released nor have plans for the facility’s future been revealed.
The behavioral health unit opened through a partnership between Huntingburg Partners, LLC, the owner of the remaining portion of St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Assurance Health System of Indianapolis, who was to be the manager of the facility.
According to a 2012 press release, Dr. Ijaz Mahmood formed Huntingburg Partners LLC to buyout St. Joseph’s Partners — the owner of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital property in Huntingburg. Mahmood’s wife, Shazia Imtiaz Mahmood, is listed as the president of Huntingburg Partners, LLC in state documents.
The Dubois County Free Press inquired with the Mahmoods and Assurance Health System regarding the closure but neither group has responded to those inquiries.
What was determined is that the unit did not receive the necessary accreditation to operate as a behavioral health facility. That accreditation is handled through a nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission are bodies designed to ensure compliance with federal regulatory standards for hospitals. The goal of these programs is to ensure quality care and patient safety. By complying with the standards set by the organizations, there is greater consistency of care, better processes for patient and staff safety, and thus higher quality of care.
CMS has approved The Joint Commission as having standards and a survey process that meets or exceeds the established federal requirements and has granted them, and other nonprofit similar nonprofit organizations, the ability to certify hospitals under CMS guidelines.
According to a spokesperson at The Joint Commission, Crossroads Behavioral Health could voluntarily reveal any information regarding their accreditation but The Joint Commission was not required to provide the public with their inspection results or accreditation decisions.
Along with accreditation from The Joint Commission, Crossroads Behavioral Health was also supposed to be licensed by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). According to Marni Lemons, deputy news director at FSSA, the FSSA did not license Crossroads Behavioral Health because the unit closed voluntarily.
In Indiana, while the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) handles licensing for psychiatric care units, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is responsible for complaints and assessments of new healthcare facilities.
According to a spokesperson for the ISDH, Crossroads Behavioral Health submitted a site plan that was subsequently approved for their operation. However, while Crossroads Behavioral Health did receive an initial CMS certification to open through The Joint Commission, according to the ISDH, they did not complete a survey of the new facility due to Crossroads Behavioral Health subsequently losing that CMS certification.
While no mistreatment of patients or violations by Crossroads Behavioral Health in Huntingburg were available in public records, the psychiatric care unit operated by Assurance Health in Indianapolis has had 23 violations documented since 2017. Those violations are detailed here at HosptitalInspections.org and range from improper supervision to violations of patients’ rights based on safety issues. The website pulls those records from deficiency reports maintained by the CMS (U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
The City of Huntingburg released a $50,000 economic development grant in February for the new facility after it met the grant criteria for the upgrade of the property.
When the unit opened, the second floor had been renovated to include 16 beds available for inpatient psychiatric care and the first floor held the administrative offices.
According to Mayor Denny Spinner, he has been in contact with Huntingburg Partners LLC and Assurance Health and he is confident there is a path toward Crossroad Behavioral Health reopening in the near future.