Fayetteville hospital makes changes to ER, keeps Medicare funding
Posted December 23, 2011
Updated March 4, 2012
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cape Fear Valley Medical Center is no longer in danger of losing Medicare funding after federal regulators reviewed changes to its emergency room care.
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services had placed Cape Fear in "immediate jeopardy" of losing funding for patients after Adarrin Washington, 30, died Nov. 22 on his way home after the hospital discharged him.
Since then, the hospital has changed its procedures to discharge patients and assess patients in the ER, hospital officials said Friday.
"The surveyors were very impressed with our comprehensive discharge assessment process. They were likewise complimentary of our Emergency Department improvements," Michael Nagowski, Cape Fear Valley Health CEO, said in a statement.
Hospital officials said that fewer than 1 percent of patients left the ER without being seen in December, despite a high volume of 331 patients a day. That rate is below national best practices.
Cape Fear has added a triage physician to help assess patients and a paramedic to communicate with patients as they arrive at the ER.
The hospital is running ads encouraging people to use its Express Care facilities, instead of the ER, for minor illnesses and injuries.