CMS threatens to revoke Alabama hospital's Medicare contract: 5 things to know

York, Ala.-based Hill Hospital of Sumter County is at risk of losing its Medicare contract Feb. 17 after an investigation found multiple deficiencies, including one related to patient care, a CMS spokeswoman confirmed to Becker's Hospital Review.

Here are five things to know.

1. The Alabama State Survey Agency conducted a survey of Hill Hospital Jan. 22 and found the hospital was not in compliance with all of the Conditions of Participation for hospitals, which included governing body, emergency services and medical staffing.

2. During the investigation, the state agency found the hospital failed to have a physician in the emergency department for multiple days, ranging from 12 hours to 84 consecutive hours at a time. This is an "immediate jeopardy" deficiency. 

3. As a result of not having a physician in the ED, a patient suffering major head trauma, who was brought to the hospital's ED in September 2017, was pronounced dead by an Emergency Medical Services online Medcontrol physician

4. In another incident, an ambulance carrying a patient was on its way to the hospital when the patient became unresponsive. The ambulance called the hospital but was told the hospital was on diversion and could not accept the patient because there was no physician on duty in the ED. As a result of the deficient practice, the patient was transported to another hospital 32 miles away, where the patient died.

5. The Medicare contract termination can be rescinded if the hospital deploys a corrective action plan by Feb. 17 that is approved by CMS.

Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Hill Hospital of Sumter County for comment. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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