HCA Mission Hospital hit with immediate jeopardy warning

HCA Healthcare's Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., is at risk of losing CMS funding after a preliminary survey by inspectors found aspects of care that threatened patient health and safety, resulting in an immediate jeopardy warning, the Asheville Watchdog reported Jan. 11.

In a Dec. 19 letter obtained by the outlet from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the regional CMS office, it notes that nine areas of deficiencies were identified in the inspection report that led to the immediate jeopardy warning — CMS' most serious citation for a hospital. 

This includes, according to the letter, a failure to provide "a safe environment for patients presenting to the emergency department by failing to accept patients on arrival, resulting in lack of or delays with triage, assessments, monitoring, and implementation of orders, including labs and telemetry." 

The letter also underscores that emergency nursing staff at the hospital also failed to evaluate and monitor changes in patient conditions. The incidents identified that led to the immediate jeopardy status were related to events that occurred at the hospital in August and October of 2023 as well as incidents from April and July of 2022. 

Funding will be lost only in the event the hospital does not address the issues, but a spokesperson from HCA Healthcare confirmed to Becker's  that the system "already has taken action to address the preliminary findings shared during the survey process." 

Additional resources and training are being implemented while the hospital works to finalize its corrective action plan. 

"Mission Hospital has received preliminary survey results from CMS regarding its emergency department. We have taken those results seriously, and there are no excuses for our patients receiving anything other than exceptional care," the spokesperson said. "This is not the standard of care we expect, nor that our patients deserve, and we will work diligently to improve."

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