Ohio hospital faces closure after losing Medicare certification

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

Dayton, Ohio-based Medical Center at Elizabeth Place will no longer be a certified hospital by Medicare or Medicaid effective Jan. 18, resulting in a funding lapse that could cause the medical center to close its doors.

MCEP, a physician-owned hospital with 12 private patient rooms, five operating rooms and an imaging center, said CMS' decision could force it out of business because 60 to 65 percent of its patients are covered through Medicare and Medicaid.

The hospital's termination is based on CMS' interpretation of what defines a hospital. As of 2017, CMS requires a hospital to have two inpatients at the time of a survey. A hospital also must be "primarily engaged" in inpatient services, which is determined in part by average daily census and average length-of-stay benchmarks. The definition doesn't apply to critical access hospitals or psychiatric hospitals.

CMS claims MCEP doesn't meet the hospital definition because it doesn't have the minimum number of patients needed who also remain inpatients for a sufficient amount of time.  

"We take CMS's comments and directives very seriously," John Fleishman, MD, who currently serves as the chair of MCEP's board of directors, said in a press release sent to Becker's Hospital Review. "However, the notice of termination was surprising and completely unexpected. This interpretation appears to contradict what CMS otherwise asks facilities to do with regard to improving outcomes and lowering the cost of care."

MCEP said it requested an extension for the decision, which CMS denied. The medical center said the termination could result in closure and 100 layoffs.

The medical center asked CMS to reconsider its position, and requested additional time to satisfy the requirements.

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