Local News

Central Regional in jeopardy of losing federal certification

Posted September 26, 2008 3:58 p.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2008 10:08 p.m. EDT

— The state's new psychiatric hospital in Butner is in jeopardy of losing its certification to bill the federal government for Medicare and Medicaid services, the hospital's interim director told staff in a memo Thursday.

The issue has to do with how Central Regional Hospital was getting reimbursed for treating patients under the federal insurance plans, which according to Dr. Michael Lancaster is a violation of conditions of participation in the programs.

A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said Friday the facility had been using a provider number for Dorothea Dix in Raleigh – which is scheduled to eventually close after all patients are transferred to Central Regional.

The move was scheduled for Oct. 1, but a Superior Court judge granted a temporary restraining order Thursday, delaying it for a fifth time, because of safety concerns.

Dix could also lose its certification because of the potential violation, Lancaster said in Thursday's memo.

DHHS spokesman Tom Lawrence said it is still unclear how a potential violation could affect the Dix move.

"We simply don't know where this is leading," he said. "We're on hold on the move, at least until the judge rules next week on the temporary injunction."

Before Dix patients are allowed to move, state law requires the hospital to have assurances from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and another accrediting agency.