Tenet hospital's Medicare contract at risk — again

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala., part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, is at risk of losing its Medicare billing privileges after a CMS survey revealed the hospital was not in compliance with some Medicare requirements.

CMS sent a termination notice to Brookwood Baptist Medical Center last week, stating the hospital's Medicare contract will be terminated Aug. 9. However, the hospital will keep its Medicare contract if CMS determines the hospital has taken steps to correct the deficiencies before the termination date.

This is the second time in three months CMS has threatened to revoke Brookwood Baptist's Medicare billing privileges.

In May, CMS sent a termination notice to Brookwood Baptist after a site survey revealed the hospital's psychiatric unit used inappropriate restraint methods on several occasions. In one case, a patient suffered cardiac arrest after being restrained face down. Hospital workers were unable to resuscitate the patient.

The hospital submitted a plan of correction to CMS, and the agency rescinded the notice of termination after a follow-up survey showed the hospital had addressed the issues identified in the original survey.

However, inspectors discovered additional problems at the hospital in a survey completed in July, which prompted the second termination notice. The survey revealed several patient safety issues, including a patient death caused by the hospital's failure to implement its elopement policy, according to WBRC.

The hospital submitted a plan of correction to CMS to address the findings in the recent survey. "Brookwood Baptist Medical Center takes patient safety very seriously and is committed to continuous improvement in quality measures and safety procedures," the hospital said in a statement to WBRC.

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