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Wilson hospital's Medicare certification in danger after fight

Posted March 8, 2010

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— A fight in the emergency room waiting room could cost Wilson Medical Center its Medicare certification.

The state Division of Health Services is evaluating the hospital’s operations after the Feb. 18 fight.

Police said Cedric Newton, 32, of Wilson, is accused of assaulting two hospital workers and a couple waiting for treatment. Police said Newton hit Catherine Murphy in the head. As hospital staff responded, the suspect tried to hit Murphy again, but her husband, Bobby, stepped in and a fight ensued.

Wilson hospital in danger of losing Medicare funding Wilson hospital in danger of losing Medicare funding

When police arrived, Bobby Murphy had a broken ankle and needed stitches in his lip.

Hospital spokeswoman Melinda Laird said Monday that Newton is a mental patient and has since been transferred to Cherry Hospital. Charges are pending.

“This was not an event that we're used to seeing in our emergency room. We feel like we do have a very safe and secure emergency room,” Laird said Monday.

Since the fight, Laird said, the hospital has made immediate changes in response, including having  a security guard in the emergency room at all times.

Wilson Medical has until March 27 to provide the state with a detailed plan of action in response or they could lose their Medicare certification.

“We do not plan on losing our Medicare funding. We will do everything that we can. We have already done a great deal to ensure that the state sees that we have taken action,” Laird said.

More than half of this hospital's patients pay through Medicare, she said.

Laird said patients shouldn’t worry about their safety or the hospital’s Medicare certification.

“This is an incident that we take very seriously here and we've made every effort to make sure it is corrected,” she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • needspaintgt Mar 9, 2010

    This wasn't just a random fight. This guy went up to the staff of the hospital at the desk and told them that he was about to go nuts. The staff allowed this to happen by not calling security immediately so they were not looking out for visitors safety. That is why they are in danger of losing their funding. Plus the security there is the average age of 70 and are not properly equipped to handle any type of situation like this. There is more to this story not being reported, that is why it seems like this is a big deal over nothing.

  • LIR Mar 9, 2010

    pirategal - you hit the nail on the head on that one! :) I was there that morning. The way it was handled by him was pathetic. lol

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Mar 9, 2010

    Random fight so everyone has to act like they are doing something to fix it. Gov't threatens to take funding unless they are impressed by the hospitals plan, knowing full well they can't prevent everything.

    Now if that was a mental patient admitted to the hospital and allowed to wander in the ER... don't do that!

  • freedomrings Mar 9, 2010

    Oh come on! It sounds like a completely random fight. What in the world does this have to do with Medicare funding? What husband wouldn't step in if his wife was attacked?? You can't prevent everything, all the time. This is almost comical.

  • seaturtlesrule Mar 9, 2010

    To elatsmith: So true! Cherry is what NC's mental health system has deteriorated to...sad for the patients (they should be treated as human beings, but end up just like animals in a 19th century zoo); sad for the nurses who have to hide their injuries or lose their jobs; sad for the (very few) psychiatrists, who just give up and enter another field.


  • pirategal Mar 9, 2010

    There definitely needs to be a security guard in the ER at all times, and not some retired, 65 year old cop that is there for socializing either!!

  • seaturtlesrule Mar 9, 2010

    Full moon plus Sat. night = ER full of wounded (or soon to be wounded) gangmembers, innocents caught in the middle, mentally ill wandering homeless (or "looked after" by 80 yr old Grandma!)....yes, this is our wonderful healthcare system. (The mental hc system has been demolished...thus ER incidents quadruple).

    Our community hospitals...you can't live with 'em; can't live without 'em. Our National Healthcare Plan: "Don't Get Sick!"

    Peace ~ I miss Nixon!

  • nerdlywehunt Mar 9, 2010

    Does this mean the Federal Government is trying to deny coverage? Sounds like the insurance companies that are so disliked by the BO administration.
    southern wisdom
    Did you read the article??? Half of the patients already use Medicare.......THIS is socialized medicine. Wonder how many of these folks went to the Tea Party to protest the guvment getting into health care?

  • Viewer Mar 9, 2010

    This is crazy! A psycho in the emergency room area is the basis of loosing Medicare certification.

    Should the hospital just close down the emergency room function?

    It would not make a difference if a Deputy Sheriff or a rent-a-cop were standing there the psycho would still have gotten some licks in.

  • elatsmith Mar 9, 2010

    "the patient was transferred to Cherry hospital" The staff at Cherry get beaten daily then DHHS covers it up by issuing it's gag order that employees cant speak out, as reported last year in News and Observer. People think that Cherry has security/police to handle the violent patients, but no it is nurses and techs that get beat down having teeth knocked out, hair pulled out, broken bones etc pretty much weekly and often daily. The attackers are never charged cause they are already ruled incompetent. 60 year old grandmothers are expected to repel assaults from 25 year old gang bangers and if the thug gets hurt the staff are fired. It Is CRAZY. The hospital is a death trap for staff and patients, the goverment knows it, but they still cut funding cause its all about money