Troubled sterilization facility at Detroit Medical Center will go unaffected by layoffs

Detroit Medical Center's plans to cut $17 million in expenses via a workforce reduction will not affect workers at the central sterile processing facility in DMC's Detroit Receiving Hospital, reports The Detroit News.

The news comes weeks after DMC passed a surprise CMS inspection of the hospital's infection control practices. DMC had been at risk of losing its Medicare and Medicaid funding over problems in its central sterile department and infection control processes. The hospital submitted a correction plan to CMS in October, and has now passed the subsequent inspection.

The hospital's central sterile department had several problems that led to contaminated surgical tools delaying surgeries and putting patients at risk of infection.

According to the report, an investigation by the state department of licensing and regulatory affairs into DMC's sterilization practices is ongoing. DMC contends patients were not harmed or infected because of dirty instruments.

DMC confirmed Tuesday it will reduce its workforce by approximately 1 percent, but layoffs don't include the sterilization facility, according to the report.

"We have been hiring and remain in the process of filling vacant positions in CSP," spokeswoman Melanie Moss said in an email to The Detroit News.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, DMC's for-profit owner, didn't respond to questions from the publication about whether the DMC layoffs were part of a companywide effort by Tenet to reduce costs. Ms. Moss also did not respond to a question about whether the DMC layoffs were prompted by Tenet.

Tenet is also moving to reduce expenses at many of its U.S. hospitals to help pay healthcare fraud fines of $514 million and to shore up stock prices, physician sources told Crain's Detroit Business. As of late August 2016, Tenet's stock price had plummeted 60 percent since July 2015.


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