Several Iowa Hospitals Accused of Irregularities

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By Becky Ogann

DES MOINES (AP) - Several Iowa hospitals, including one at the center of a controversy involving the shooting death of Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas, have been accused in recent years of discharging psychiatric patients before they were stabilized.

In the Parkersburg case, Mark Becker was discharged last Tuesday from the mental health unit at Waterloo's Covenant Medical Center, a day before he allegedly shot and killed Thomas.

A Des Moines Register review of hospital accreditation and inspection reports shows that over the past four years Covenant has been cited for a variety of problems related to psychiatric care.

But it is not the only hospital to face such allegations. Others have been lodged against Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, Davis County Hospital in Bloomfield, and the Orange City Health System.

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