Local News

Cherry Hospital No Longer at Risk of Losing Federal Money

Posted September 28, 2007 7:12 p.m. EDT
Updated September 29, 2007 8:58 a.m. EDT

— Federal officials Friday lifted the threat of  "immediate jeopardy" against Cherry Hospital's certification to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The state-run, 284-bed mental-health facility submitted a plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to correct deficiences the federal government had found. CMS threatened to cut off $8.4 million annually in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements after a three-day review in early September.

"The staff of Cherry Hospital worked diligently to correct the deficiencies noted by CMS, and we remain committed to providing the finest mental-health care to the people we serve here in the eastern region of the state,” hospital director Dr. Jack St. Clair said.

The review reported failures in the areas of patient care and safety, including failure to provide observation and documentation that resulted in the "elopement" of a patient, and failure to provide timely care of a patient needing emergency care.

CMS actually cut off funding to a second state mental-health facility, Broughton Hospital, also amid concerns about patient safety. Broughton submitted its plan for reorganization on Monday this week.