UnityPoint Health-Meriter retains Medicare contract

Madison, Wis.-based UnityPoint Health-Meriter is no longer at risk of losing its Medicare billing privileges.

Due to patient safety issues involving unexplained injuries to patients in the hospital's newborn intensive care unit, UnityPoint Health-Meriter's Medicare billing privileges were originally set to be terminated March 18. However, CMS extended the termination date by more than two months after the hospital made progress toward full compliance with Medicare rules.

During a follow-up survey in March, CMS identified more than 30 new deficiencies, none of which involved specific allegations of patient harm. The hospital's compliance deadline was extended to June 24.

A third inspection of UnityPoint Health-Meriter May 10 revealed the hospital was still not in full compliance with Medicare rules, as there were issues remaining from the March survey that the hospital was in the process of correcting.

After a surveyor visited UnityPoint Health-Meriter June 5, the hospital received preliminary notification that its corrections were approved. CMS officially verified the hospital's compliance with all Medicare conditions of participation June 12.

"As a result of the CMS review, we've become an even stronger organization for our community and continue to be focused on providing high quality care for our community," a hospital spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review.

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