Baylor St. Luke's drops appeal to keep Medicare funding for heart transplant program

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Houston-based Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center has abandoned its appeal of CMS' decision to terminate Medicare funding for its heart transplant program, roughly eight months after funding was cut off, according to the Houston Chronicle.

CMS terminated Medicare funding for heart transplants performed at Baylor St. Luke's after an investigation revealed several patient deaths and surgical complications in recent years. The hospital dropped the appeal as CMS is wrapping up a comprehensive audit of all hospital operations, according to the report. 

"We decided to voluntarily withdraw our administrative appeal with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services," a hospital spokesperson wrote in an email to the Houston Chronicle. "We are focused on rebuilding the heart transplant program and we plan to apply for CMS certification through the standard procedures later this year."

During the past year, Baylor St. Luke's has taken several steps to address quality-of-care issues, including hiring executives with expertise to address the problems CMS identified in its surveys. 

Access the full Houston Chronicle article here

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