CMS grants Wake Forest Baptist brief extension of Medicare contract

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wake Forest Baptist is at risk of losing its Medicare billing privileges after a CMS survey revealed patients received erroneous cancer diagnoses. The hospital was originally slated to lose its Medicare contract March 25 unless CMS and the hospital came to an agreement regarding the hospital's corrective action plan, but CMS extended the deadline to April 6, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

CMS determined the issues identified in the survey put patients' safety and health in "immediate jeopardy." Due to lab oversight issues, three Wake Forest Baptist patients were incorrectly diagnosed with cancer and an additional patient was wrongly told he or she did not have cancer. This resulted in unnecessary treatment for three patients and a delay in diagnosis for a fourth patient.

CMS is reviewing a corrective action plan submitted by the hospital. Wake-Forest Baptist President Kevin High, MD, told the Winston-Salem Journal CMS extended the hospital's Medicare contract termination date from March 25 to April 6 to give CMS surveyors additional time to perform a follow-up visit to validate the hospital's corrective action plan.

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