Wisconsin hospital's Medicare contract in jeopardy after third CMS survey reveals deficiencies

UnityPoint Health-Meriter in Madison, Wis., is at risk of losing its Medicare billing privileges after a third survey of the facility revealed seven violations, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

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 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, according to the report. 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 compliance with a Medicare rule related to the facility's physical environment, such as maintenance and installation of door latches and lighting, according to WKOW.

A hospital spokesperson told WKOW the violations listed in the May inspection report 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 it has completed all necessary corrections.

"CMS will need to officially confirm the corrections and, once it does so, any concern regarding Medicaid and Medicare payments will be removed," the spokesperson told WKOW.

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