CMS finds serious care deficiencies at Houston hospital

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CMS identified serious care deficiencies at Houston-based Ben Taub Hospital after an investigation earlier this month, reports the Houston Chronicle.

State health officials investigated the hospital June 4-5 and discovered deficiencies related to patient rights and emergency services.

"These deficiencies have been determined to be of such a serious nature as to substantially limit your hospital's capacity to render adequate care," CMS wrote in the June 26 notification letter to Houston-based Harris Health System, which operates Ben Taub Hospital. 

The investigation came after a patient died at Ben Taub Emergency Center in April due to "an ineffective process in patient monitoring and communication of critical lab values," Harris Health CEO George Masi wrote in a June 26 email to hospital employees that was obtained by Becker's.

CMS has placed Harris Health under state and federal authority until it can correct all deficiencies. The move does not affect the system's Medicare contract.

"Harris Health's leadership takes this matter very seriously," Mr. Masi wrote in the letter. "Since the completion of the [Texas Health and Human Services Commission] survey, Harris Health made substantial strides in achieving full compliance and will continue to work diligently to meet all of the applicable standards of care."

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