Why a Kentucky hospital lost its Medicare funding

CMS terminated its provider agreement with Pineville (Ky.) Community Health Center in May, and the hospital's Medicare and Medicaid funding has not been restored, according to TV station WATE 6.

A 135-page survey report from CMS inspectors recently obtained by WATE 6 reveals why the hospital's funding was cut off. The report says the hospital was not in compliance with several Medicare rules and cites several deficiencies related to patient care.

The hospital failed to maintain cardiology services, equipment to monitor patient medical conditions and medications for patient emergencies. Budget constraints prevented the hospital from having enough medicine or supplies, and the hospital didn't have a pharmacy distributor because of outstanding debt, according to the report.

The report noted that one physician left the hospital in October 2018 because "continuing care at the hospital was endangering lives of his patients," according to WATE 6. There were times when staff would leave in the middle of a procedure to search for supplies, according to the report.

The hospital faced financial challenges for months before it lost Medicare and Medicaid funding, and a lack of cash flow caused its debts to mount. The hospital reportedly owed an EHR vendor $600,000 and owed a pharmacy distributor approximately $500,000.

Access the full WATE 6 report here.

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