Monday, October 13, 2008

Broughton Loses Accreditation Appeal
Broughton loses accreditation appeal

By Sharon McBrayer

The News Herald
Published: October 9, 2008

Morganton -

The Joint Commission has denied accreditation to Broughton Hospital and the hospital could lose payments from private insurance companies.According to a letter from the Joint Commission on Thursday, it denied accreditation following a December 2007 survey of the hospital.The Joint Commission is a nationally recognized agency that certifies more than 15,000 U.S. health-care facilities and programs."After consideration of all materials and information presented, the committee determined that there was substantial evidence to support the Accreditation Committee's decision and concluded to deny accreditation to Broughton Hospital," Ann Scott Blouin, executive vice president of accreditation and certification operations for the commission, said in the letter.

The decision was effective as of Thursday. The letter didn't give an explanation for the denial of the appeal.That means the hospital will have to reapply for accreditation with the commission, said Tom Mahle, director and CEO of Broughton.Losing its accreditation means the hospital will lose money from private insurances that require commission accreditation, Mahle said.Mahle wouldn't way on Thursday how much the hospital stands to lose in private insurance payments, only saying, "We evaluating it."

In August, Broughton's then Interim Director Art Robarge estimated the hospital could lose between $400,000 to $500,000 a year in payments from private insurance companies if it lost Joint Commission accreditation.The loss of accreditation doesn't, however, jeopardize Medicaid or Medicare, Mahle said.Broughton lost its Medicaid and Medicare funding in August 2007 following two deaths at the hospital. It regained its Medicaid and Medicare funding in July.Mahle said the hospital will work with the commission to establish some guidelines for applying for accreditation."And we're going to do that as quickly as we can," Mahle said.

Mahle said he's not sure how long the process will take but plans to talk to Joint Commission officials about it.The loss of accreditation won't mean a loss of employees, Mahle said.Mahle believes the hospital has made a lot of changes since the survey in December 2007, and that's why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reinstated its funding."We're really looking forward to reapplying as quickly as we can and working with the Joint Commission," Mahle said.

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