Tenet hospital in Alabama won't lose Medicare billing privileges

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, is no longer at risk of losing its Medicare billing privileges after a CMS survey found the hospital had made changes to comply with Medicare requirements.

CMS notified Brookwood Baptist in July that its Medicare contract would be terminated Aug. 9 for failing to comply with some program requirements. However, Brookwood Baptist CEO Keith Parrott announced this week that CMS found the hospital had taken the necessary steps to correct deficiencies, and accepted the hospital's plan of action.

"We will continue to fully participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs without interruption. There is more work ahead, and we will be resurveyed in the future, but we are no longer in immediate jeopardy status," Mr. Parrott told Becker's Hospital Review.

Brookwood Baptist's Medicare billing privileges have been at risk various times in recent months.

In May, CMS notified the hospital its Medicare contract was at risk after a site survey revealed inappropriate restraint methods were used in the hospital's psychiatric unit. The agency rescinded the notice of termination after a follow-up survey showed the hospital was in compliance with Medicare requirements, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. But Brookwood Baptist's Medicare contract was at risk again after a CMS survey in July found patient safety issues.

The hospital submitted a correction plan to CMS after the July survey and "was able to successfully make the organizational and procedural changes required," Mr. Parrott said.  

"Going forward, we will continue to work with our governing agencies, including CMS and the Alabama Department of Public Health, to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to patient safety and implementation of our corrective actions," he said.

"Brookwood Baptist Medical Center takes patient safety very seriously and remains fully committed to providing the quality of care our community expects."

Ayla Ellison contributed to this report.


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