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Newspaper: Las Vegas hospitals quick to discharge patients

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas newspaper has found that patients with mental illness are often being discharged from hospitals too soon, resulting in many returning to emergency rooms or being sent to group homes.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the early hospital releases are indicative of the state’s scarce resources for treating mental illness, a lack of trained professionals and a shortage of hospital beds for patients who often can’t pay for care.

Law enforcement officials say Nevada hospitals are also releasing patients admitted on 72-hour medical holds before the hold has expired. Police, physicians or other health care providers order the hold for people who are unable to care for themselves or who threaten to hurt themselves or others.

Officials from multiple Las Vegas hospitals say physicians make the discharge decisions.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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