HELENA — The head of the Montana State Hospital is out and will be heading up a different state-run mental health treatment facility.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced Thursday Kyle Fouts would no longer be state hospital administrator, a position he's held since 2019. The announcement came more than a week after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ended its provider agreement with the state hospital because of threats to patients’ health and safety.
In a February CMS report inspectors found the hospital failed to protect patients from repeated falls, which contributed to the death of one patient. Three other patients died from COVID-19 after the hospital failed to keep infected patients separated from non-infected patients.
Hospital employees criticized Fouts’ leadership after CMS announced the end of the provider agreement.
The Interim Hospital Administrator Carter Anderson was administrator of the Office of the Inspector General since 2018. The inspector general’s office oversees certification and licensing for the state health department.
In mid-March, the health department signed a $500,000 contract with Mountain-Pacific Quality Healthcare, which is a “healthcare improvement organization,” according to its website. The organization began to put in place corrective action plans to address the issues raised by CMS. Mountain-Pacific’s work will continue through June.
In addition, consultants from Alvarez and Marsal Public Sector Services, LLC, visited the hospital this week as part of the state health department’s new approach to running the state hospital and other facilities. Alvarez and Marsal established an executive support team for most state-run health facilities, which includes a Executive Facilities Director. Two people from the consulting firm, Diane Rafferty and Chris Baglio will share that role.