Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cherry Hospital won't loose federal funding

Mental hospital in Goldsboro won't lose its federal financing

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The federal government won’t cut off financing to treat patients at a state mental hospital here after officials dealt with concerns about the quality of patient care, a state spokesman said yesterday.

Inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told officials at Cherry Hospital that they would recommend lifting its “immediate jeopardy” status, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The center told the department earlier this month that it was considering an end to reimbursing expenses for Medicaid and Medicare patients effective Sunday because of incidents at the hospital.

One involved a patient escape, and another involved failing to provide timely emergency care to a patient. None of the incidents resulted in injuries.

State mental-health officials presented a plan to correct problems that were uncovered, but the inspectors visited the hospital again yesterday before making the decision, said Mark Van Sciver, a spokesman with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The staff of Cherry Hospital worked diligently to correct the deficiencies” said Dr. Jack St. Clair, the hospital’s director, adding, “We remain committed to providing the finest mental-health care to the people we serve here in the eastern region of the state.”

Meanwhile, the state mental-health division is trying to restore Medicaid and Medicare patient payments to Broughton Hospital in Morganton after a patient death and fall. The state said this week that hospital staff will be reorganized to improve clinical staff supervision.

The state announced on Aug. 31 the payment suspension at Broughton, which could cost the state $1 million a month.

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