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Federal team evaluating Central Regional

Posted December 12, 2008

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— Regulators were back at Central Regional Hospital Friday to make a final determination of whether the facility will lose its ability to bill the federal government for treating patients on Medicare and Medicaid.

The new state psychiatric facility submitted a corrective action plan last week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to address a number of problems at the facility.

The deadline is Sunday, and Division of Mental Health officials say a decision could come as early as Monday.

According to a report released earlier this month, Central Regional was placed in immediate jeopardy of losing the funding, in part, for failing to provide care in a safe environment and for failing to prevent patient abuse and neglect.

CMS accepted the hospital's plan of correction, and examiners were evaluating Friday whether that plan is actually being implemented. If not, the hospital will likely lose its certification to be reimbursed for the federal insurance programs.

That could mean the Department of Health and Human Services reallocating more than $800,000 monthly from its budget to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The state agency is already spending approximately that much a month to treat patients at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, which lost federal funding in September for issues brought to light after a patient's death in April.

DHHS officials have not said how much it would cost to continue treating those patients at Central Regional but said it would likely cost more than Cherry Hospital. Central Regional has two facilities – one in Butner and the other in Raleigh at what used to be Dorothea Dix Hospital.

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  • Newshound Dec 12, 2008

    shays7991 the buildings at dix are far more unsafe than the brand new facilities at central regional. the problem at dix is all structural. the problems at central are all lack of trained staff. If i was in charge of this problem my obvious solution would be to transfer the well trained staff that work at dix to the new hospital that was built for them. The problem is that that move has not been accepted by the people at dix and has been opposed from the start.

    Sure the state could have made that portion of relocating workers better with housing assistance. relocation expense and such for those more that 30 miles out.

    But the facts are that if half the trained staff were at crh there would be no problem. instead they are having to hire people untrained in mental health care and when you dont have a core of people who know the ropes mistakes are made that cannot be taken back.

  • 4grandbabies Dec 12, 2008

    The Stte of NC was told about these deficiencies a zillion times before they started transferring patients to this facility. Why is the world is the loss of federal funding a surprise? They knew up front that the buildings were not safe yet for patients. Seems like they just wanted to clean out Dix at the expense of it's patients and staff!!!

  • RonnieR Dec 12, 2008

    Instead of taking the money to take care of them out of hide, send them to someplace that honors Medicaid and Medicare.

  • Adelinthe Dec 12, 2008

    ALREADY, HUH! SHAMEFUL!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB