Nebraska hospital loses Medicare funding, plans to stay open

Winnebago (Neb.) Indian Health Service Hospital has lost its Medicare funding, but the hospital plans to stay open for now, according to a Sioux City Journal report.

The hospital lost its funding July 23. The funding cutoff was due to a CMS finding that the facility put its patients in "immediate jeopardy," which lead to the death of one person earlier this year. A May CMS report cited the case of a patient who was sent home from Winnebago Indian Health Service Hospital after complaining of exteme back pain on Dec. 30, 2014. A hospital staff member subsequently called the patient and left him a voicemail telling him his kidneys were failing, but the hospital made no other attempt to contact the patient about his condition. The patient died Jan. 1, 2015, according to a Lincoln Journal Star report.

CMS also found the hospital provided inadequate treatment to at least nine other patients.

An IHS spokesperson, Theresa Eisenman, told the Sioux City Journal that the facility will remain open while officials explore the next course of action for the hospital. As of July 24, the hospital had not appealed the Medicare contract termination.

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