Local News

Franklin Regional Could Lose Medicaid Coverage

Posted March 21, 2008 11:25 a.m. EDT

Franklin Regional Hospital

— Franklin County's only hospital could lose its ability to bill Medicare and Medicaid for caring for elderly and poor patients if its doesn't fix problems by March 30.

The state Department of Health and Human Services, which operates Medicare and Medicaid in North Carolina, notified Franklin Regional Medical Center by mail Thursday that it must fix problems with its governance, medical staff, nursing services and laboratory services to remain eligible to participate in the two government insurance programs.

Hospital spokeswoman Bonnie Little wouldn't specify the problems that need to be addressed, but she said the hospital is “looking forward to opportunities for improvement.”

If the deadline isn't met, anyone admitted to Franklin Regional on or after March 30 will not be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. Payment will continue through the end of April for those admitted before the deadline, officials said.

Franklin Regional has proposed building a new hospital in Youngsville to serve the growing population in southern Franklin County. The state hasn't yet approved the plan – county officials oppose the idea – but Little said the Medicare/Medicaid issue shouldn't have any effect on its application.