The AJC reports on a raid of Lakeview Hospital, run by Acadia Health, after a patient was found in the freezer there in September. Gwinnett is apparently investigating 50+ other reports of abuse and neglect at the hospital.
The laws in Georgia leave these hospitals woefully unaccountable on all levels. They are given powers to control the liberty of another human being while maintaining a for-profit status, an incredibly dangerous combination. Every incentive is there to hold a person for additional profit, and later to discharge with less-than-desirable prognosis with the expectation that the patient will sooner or later return.
It is high time for these laws under Title 37 et al. to be changed and reflect the due process rights of hospitalized patients. As they stand, the laws favor the hospitals, and the staff at these hospitals, in my experience, are completely ignorant of the statutory rights afforded their patients. HIPAA is used as a weapon against undesired inquiries into the care (or lack thereof) they are giving patients, rather than as a tool afforded the patient him or herself with respect to privacy. It is a heavy curtain given to the hospitals to shade their practices and it needs to be pulled back, with greater transparency.