Local News

Central Regional in 'immediate jeopardy' of losing federal funds

Posted February 13, 2009 5:58 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2009 7:46 p.m. EST

— Central Regional Hospital will lose federal funding on Feb. 20 if it does not pass a re-inspection by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The U.S. agency, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid programs, gave the state psychiatric hospital formal notification Friday that it has been placed under a notice of what officials call immediate jeopardy.

CMS uses that term to indicate that a problem it has found compromises patients' health or safety.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Friday afternoon that the hospital has submitted a plan of corrective action to address issues that surveyors found while investigating complaints earlier this month.

One complaint involved Central Regional's Raleigh campus, formerly Dorothea Dix Hospital, where a health care technician allegedly assaulted a patient. The incident was not reported to hospital administrators until CMS inspectors received an anonymous complaint, he said.

Two other incidents involved a juvenile patient at the hospital's Butner campus.

In the first, a health care technician struck a patient. The second incident involved the same patient being assaulted by other patients.

Central Regional has faced the threat of losing federal funding three times since it opened last July.

Most recently, in November, inspectors said the hospital's Butner and Raleigh campuses had failed to prevent patient abuse and neglect, in part, when workers improperly restrained a patient.