Psychiatric hospital patient charged with assaulting woman

HELENA — A patient at Montana State Psychiatric Hospital is charged with aggravated assault after authorities say he repeatedly punched another patient in the head in an attack that left him seriously injured and led federal regulators to end Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The male patient is also charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly trying to wipe blood from his shoes after the March 22 assault at Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, court records show. . The charges were filed on March 24.

The victim suffered multiple brain hemorrhages and facial injuries that will require reconstructive surgery, according to court records. Photographs show she was bleeding from her eyes and at least one ear. She was airlifted to a Missoula hospital for treatment.

The attack, which was captured on surveillance video, occurred after the victim reported to staff that the accused was holding another patient’s hand, investigators have learned.

At the time of the assault, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had already determined that patients at the state hospital were in ‘immediate danger’ due to repeated health and safety breaches that resulted in death of patients and have not corrected the shortcomings.

CMS then announced that it would end Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for new patients starting April 12. Funding for patients already present would continue for an additional 30 days. Hospital administrator Kyle Fouts steps down.

It is not known whether the patient appeared in court. A phone message left with the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County District Attorney’s office was not returned, an email to the court clerk requesting information about court appearances was not immediately returned, and a call A phone call to the defendant’s attorney, Christopher Miller, rang unanswered.

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