Death of 26-Year-Old Patient Linked to 'Celebrity' Clinic

An upscale psychiatric hospital that has an affiliation with celebrity rehab specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky and has a reputation for treating the rich and famous has been inspected several times over the past year by government regulators who found failing patient care, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Aurora Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena has been reviewed at least six times by officials who have faulted staff for not taking proper care of some of their patients. Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times show problems continued to exist despite promises by hospital officials they would remedy them.

Among the incidents that allegedly occurred at the facility:

— A 26-year-old patient died in 2006 after staffers didn't check on him for 24 hours even though a doctor ordered that he should be monitored closely.

— An internal memo indicating that hospital administrators were sleeping at work, including a time when a 16-year-old patient was accused of raping another teen while workers and the suspect's probation officer slept nearby.

—A translator wasn't provided for a 79-year-old Vietnamese-speaking woman during group sessions and other assessments, who was never fully evaluated and went without treatment.

The inspections were conducted after the deaths of three patients in five months and the reported rape of the teen patient. Regulators have put Las Encinas officials on notice that the facility was in danger of losing Medicaid and Medicare funding if the problems continued, the newspaper reported.

Steve Jennings, director of business development for the hospital, said late last week that Las Encinas "was found to be in full compliance" when inspectors returned Feb. 17.

Federal regulators have not yet received the newest report from state inspectors.

Pinsky, host of radio's "Love Line" and VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," is listed on the hospital's Web site as part of its medical staff.