Good Shepherd Medical Center could lose CMS funding for putting patients at risk

Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas, could lose its CMS contract Aug. 6 unless it resolves the issues uncovered during a survey of the hospital.

A CMS spokesman told the Longview News-Journal that the hospital has had "ongoing and repeated immediate jeopardy citations" and other compliance issues "that do not represent immediate jeopardy."

Some of those issues include the following, according to the Longview News-Journal report:

  • Patients were subjected to inappropriate use of chemical and physical restraints used for staff convenience.
  • Patients in the dialysis unit were at risk of exposure to high levels of chlorine and exposure to harmful bacteria.
  • Staff failed to make sure surgical instruments were properly reprocessed after use.

In an emailed statement to Becker's, Steve Altmiller, president and CEO of Good Shepherd Health System, said the organization is "up to the challenge" to right the wrongs identified in the most recent survey. "We respect the government's regulatory role and are committed to work collaboratively to resolve the identified issues."

He noted that "fortunately, at no time, even with the issues noted, are we aware of any patient being harmed." That being said, he also called the situation "unacceptable" and that it would not happen again.

The hospital has already taken steps to address many of the deficiencies found during the survey. For instance, Good Shepherd contracted with DaVita to have that organization take over the dialysis services, according to the Longview News-Journal.

Additionally, the hospital contracted with The Greeley Company "to oversee the steps to correct the issues identified," Mr. Altmiller said in the statement.

In the meantime, the hospital will continue to see and bill Medicaid and Medicare patients. Mr. Altmiller told the Longview News-Journal he anticipates all issues will be resolved prior to the Aug. 6 deadline.

In similar but unrelated instances, two other hospitals — one in Arizona and another in Nebraska — recently lost CMS funding due to concerns over patient care.

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