Duke LifePoint hospital at risk of losing Medicare contract

Wilson (N.C.) Medical Center could lose its Medicare contract after state regulators identified immediate jeopardy to patients' health and safety stemming from three events in early 2022, The News & Observer reported July 8.

Of the three incidents, two involve the deaths of patients admitted to the Duke LifePoint hospital in early 2022 — one died after a fall and sedation at the facility; the other died shortly after his heart monitor was disconnected. The third incident involved a suicidal patient who locked himself in a bathroom in the hospital's emergency room lobby and threatened to overdose on medication that regulators say the hospital should have confiscated.

Wilson Medical Center CEO Mark Holyoak and Board Chair Janice Walston said that the survey conducted in May by the N.C. Department of Health Service Regulation "identified a few areas that required our attention and corrective action," The N&O reported. "We take every evaluation seriously; however, we do not believe the results of a single survey reflect the total quality of care offered at Wilson Medical Center."

The 294-bed hospital submitted its corrective action plan to CMS June 28 and is awaiting a response from the agency.

The Healthcare Foundation of Wilson owns 20 percent of the hospital. The other 80 percent is owned by Duke LifePoint, a joint venture between Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health and Durham, N.C.-based Duke Health.

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