A Buzzfeed News investigation posted released videos of abusive psychiatric hospital staff attendees beating and dragging their young patients. The internal security footage leaked from Hill Crest Behavioral Health, in Birmingham, Alabama, which is owned by America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services. The videos show UHS staff assaulting numerous young patients.
A culture of violence.
Hayden Vice, a 15-year-old male patient on crutches and with a casted leg, was walking down a hallway when confronted by a mental health technician, Isaac Doughty, who ordered him to go take a shower. When Vice did not comply as Doughty wanted, he was slammed against the wall an then dragged into a room. He emerged later with a beaten and bloodied face.
Adryana Metcalf was dragged and then carried facedown by three large men after arguing with one of the staff. “They picked me up like some sort of animal,” said Metcalf.
Beaten to death.
Ed Young, was followed into his room by two workers, who beat him until he was lying on the floor, unresponsive. This contradicts the hospital's report that the patient attacked the staff. A code blue was called, and Young was taken to the hospital. He died the next day.
For-profit psychiatric care.
Hill Crest Behavioral Health was supposed to be a refuge for troubled adolescents and foster kids who had run out of other options. Instead it became their worst nightmare. It is privately owned by Universal Health Services, which owns more than 200 for-profit health facilities. UHS revenues in 2016 exceeded $8 billion, and its facilities "treated" 455,000 patients. Buzzfeed reports that a third of that $8 billion comes from taxpayer dollars.
Buzzfeeds' two-year investigation has led to a litany of allegations of abuse, medical insurance fraud, inadequate staffing, and corruption; increased scrutiny from state and federal agencies; and Oklahoma terminating its contract with UHS facilities.
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h/t: Buzzfeed News