Wisconsin hospital at risk of losing Medicare contract over injuries to babies

UnityPoint Health-Meriter in Madison, Wis., is at risk of losing its Medicare contract after a handful of patients in the hospital's newborn intensive care unit suffered unexplained injuries.

Hospital authorities notified police about the injuries in early February, and the Madison Police Department is investigating. The hospital did not disclose the types of injuries that occurred in the NICU, citing patient privacy laws.

In February, Meriter told Becker's Hospital Review it was cooperating in the investigation, and it had implemented additional monitoring and security measures to enhance supervision in the hospital's NICU.

Due to the patient safety issues, the hospital's Medicare billing privileges were originally set to be terminated March 18, but CMS extended the termination date by more than two months after the hospital made progress toward full compliance with Medicare rules. The hospital has suspended the nurse who was allegedly involved in the incidents, and it has submitted a correction plan to CMS that includes several changes to improve patient safety in the NICU.  

UnityPoint Health-Meriter did not immediately respond to Becker's request for comment.

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