May 12, 2016

Morton Hospital Bans State Behavioral Health Subcontractor from Emergency Department

TAUNTON, MA – Morton Hospital has issued the following public statement from hospital spokesperson Michele Fasano:

“Effective today, Morton Hospital has banned the state selected sub-contractor Norton Emergency Services AKA Taunton/Attleboro Emergency Services (NES/TAES) from evaluating or recommending treatment for any patient at Morton Hospital.

NES/TAES is subcontracted through MassHealth and is charged by law with the responsibility of evaluating MassHealth patients who enter the Morton Hospital Emergency Department.

Morton Hospital has previously advocated to utilize our own hospital credentialed and vetted medical personnel to conduct such evaluations as it does with Blue Cross, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, and other payers. However, state policy has mandated that these evaluations be carried out by third party subcontractors such as NES/TAES.

NES/TAES is independently headquartered at 108 West Main Street, Bldg. #2, Norton, MA, 02766 and is not retained or compensated by Morton Hospital. NES/TAES is selected, overseen, and compensated by state agencies and offices. Some NES/TAES staff utilize state email and benefits and are considered state employees.

Morton Hospital has informed the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) through the attached letter of our decision to unilaterally bar NES/TAES from evaluating patients at Morton Hospital.

During the period of 12:30A.M. to 8:00 A.M. this morning, NES/TAES failed to evaluate multiple patients in our Emergency Department in a timely way and when Morton Hospital proposed to do the evaluations ourselves we were rebuffed or ignored by the subcontractor. This inability of the state subcontractor to provide critical and timely services continues to put patients at risk.

Effectively immediately, we will provide our own evaluation services conducted by licensed and credentialed members of our staff who are subject to peer review and direct oversight.

Questions regarding NES/TAES operations or procedural issues should be directed to NES/TAES.” 

- Michele Fasano, spokesperson, Morton Hospital