Regulators negotiate agreement with Western State Hospital to avoid losing federal funds

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Federal regulators have agreed to negotiate an agreement with the Washington state agency that oversees the troubled Western State Hospital to avoid the loss of federal funds.

The agreement will protect patients while giving the psychiatric hospital time to fix problems that led to multiple violation notices.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued four termination notices in 2015 over concerns about the safety of patients and staff.

On Thursday, the federal agency agreed to negotiate with the state Department of Social and Health Services as it implements improvements to the hospital's operations.

The agency moved the termination deadline from May 3 to June 3.

Adding to the hospital's troubles was the April 6 escape of two dangerous patients.

Soon after, Gov. Jay Inslee fired the hospital's CEO.