State orders drug treatment center to correct ‘significant’ violations

  • Swift River in Cummington.

For The Recorder
Published: 1/31/2017 11:45:59 PM

CUMMINGTON — A new inpatient addiction treatment center must revise bed checks to verify “signs of life” every 30 minutes, state health regulators have ruled.

The order is among several directives from the state Department of Public Health, which launched an investigation at Swift River Jan. 10 following a “concerning incident.” Officials with the state and the facility have declined to elaborate, citing privacy concerns.

The department’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services suspended admissions to the facility’s Acute Treatment Services program, “due to substantial and significant non-compliance,” following the investigation.

On Tuesday the department ordered Swift River, which opened in November and straddles Cummington and Plainfield town lines, to take corrective action, having discovered at least nine areas in which the facility violated state regulations.

Because the program is new and operates under provisional licensure, DPH spokesman Tom Lyons said the department decided to conduct a complete audit of Swift River.

While enrollment to the acute treatment program was halted, the facility may still accept post-detox patients and provide outpatient services. According to a Jan. 11 letter from Bureau of Substance Abuse Services Director Allison Bauer to Swift River CEO Mark Lancet, the company must do several things before admissions can resume:

Revise its bed check policy. Staff must check for “signs of life” at least every 30 minutes, document that verification and clearly define who is responsible for such tasks.

Submit “quality assurance plan” that identifies how bed checks are conducted, monitored and by whom.

Submit plan to train all staff on documenting the patient record per state regulations. The plan must include details about an already scheduled training session. Staff will need to demonstrate skills learned in the training.

Establish an organizational chart identifying staff by name as well as lines of reporting for each shift.

Demonstrate that the use of gabapentin for patients detoxing from alcohol is best practice.

Plan to ensure that assessments completed by staff other than the medical director are reviewed by said director and documented accordingly.

Ensure all physician’s orders are signed by the medical director.

Establish a “quality assurance protocol” that sets course of treatment at time of admission, including pharmacological treatment for opioid patients.

“Please be aware that the above areas of non-compliance are the most substantial and not inclusive of all areas of non-compliance,” Bauer said at the close of the letter, adding the bureau will conduct unannounced site visits to ensure “plans have been implemented consistently.”

Swift River has 10 business days to respond with a plan of correction.

Leaders of Swift River have been working continuously to comply with all regulations since applying for their license, said Toril Newman, chief clinical officer for the facility’s parent company, Addiction Campuses.

“Swift River and Addiction Campuses are committed to maintaining compliance with all regulations and licensure requirements provided for under Massachusetts laws and BSAS regulations,” she said. “Our professional and qualified team continues to treat clients with the highest level of integrity and care.”

Swift River is a 12-building facility on 600 acres. Addiction Campuses has similar facilities in Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy