Local News

Hospital Gets OK on Plan to Keep Gov't Insurance Programs

Posted March 26, 2008

— The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services accepted a corrective plan of action Wednesday from Franklin County's only hospital to improve its quality of health care.

The federal agency notified Franklin Regional Medical Center earlier this month that it has until March 30 to fix problems with its governance, medical staff, nursing services and laboratory services to remain eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Failure to do so would mean the hospital would lose its ability to bill the two government insurance programs for caring for elderly and poor patients.

The hospital said in a statement Wednesday afternoon it has already taken steps to implement the plan, which includes policy and procedure revision, staff and physician education and process redesign.

"Our physicians and medical staff are committed to providing top-notch service to the residents of Franklin County,” Mike McNair, interim chief executive officer for the hospital, said in a written statement. "We’re pleased with the decision by CMS to accept our plan of action, and we look forward to continuing to deliver quality care to FRMC patients."

Beyond the general areas of concern, neither CMS nor Franklin Regional will say what the problems are.

CMS will make another unannounced visit to the hospital before the March 30 deadline to ensure it's implementing and complying with the plan. If so, it won't affect coverage of those on either insurance program.

If the hospital loses its ability to receive the government reimbursements, it could have an impact on a potential application to move the hospital from Louisburg to a larger facililty in Youngsville, said Lee Hoffman, Chief of the Certificate of Need (CON) Section with the North Carolina Division of Facility Services.

It will decide whether the facility can move and is expected to make its decision by April 28.

"Certainly, they (the hospital) are failing on a major criteria of the CON application," said Louisburg Town Councilman Boyd Sturges, an outspoken critic of the move because it would decentralize the hospital in the county.

"And I would think the CON people would have to look at that. I think they would have to look at that to their detriment," he said.


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  • ohmygosh Mar 27, 2008

    You think the "move" would cure the mismanagement?

  • kne1975 Mar 27, 2008

    Yeah, this hospital is not on the top of my list for serious illnesses...sprained ankle, mild allergic reactions...yes...something serious...NO!! My concern is for the persons in Franklin Co. whose only choice for medical care is Franklin Regional...can you imagine a person in medical distress needing to be brought all the way into Wake Co or Durham Co...if they have medicaid/medicare? I hope they fix the problems soon.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 26, 2008

    I find this pretty bothersome. Let's face it Government oversight is typically not very efficient or effective. So if this place is performing poorly enough that they are threatened with removal from Government reimbursement there must be some serious issues. All of this information should be available to the public. I know one thing for sure, if I needed medical care I would not be going to this place.

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Mar 26, 2008

    Aside from fixing what is being addressed inthe article, what about the following:
    Hot water in patient's rooms.
    Functional showers that are not used for storage.
    Emptying patient's garbage cans at least once a week.
    Receiving a flower from the billing office WITHOUT the order to come to the billing office and turn over all your money in order to ensure continued care.
    Nurses that speak instead of just grunting.
    Outpatient recovery room that's large enough to sit down in.

    That's what I'd like to see