Inspectors visit Johns Hopkins All Children's after heart surgery deaths

State and federal inspectors visited Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., after calls for an investigation into patient safety issues in the hospital's heart surgery unit, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Although the scope of the inspection is not clear, hospital regulators have recently been criticized for their lax response to signs of an increase in mortality at the hospital's heart institute. The hospital stopped all pediatric heart surgeries in October 2018.

A Florida Agency for Health Care Administration spokesperson told the Times that the agency had visited the facility.

A hospital spokesperson confirmed federal inspectors also visited the facility.

"We appreciate the oversight role that our regulators play, and we will, as always, be fully cooperative and collaborative as they conduct any reviews necessary," a statement from the hospital said.

A CMS spokesperson declined to comment to the Times beyond saying the matter was "an ongoing review."

In November, the Times found the hospital's mortality rate for heart surgery patients tripled from 2015 to 2017 to become the highest rate in Florida. The increase occurred after staff members told hospital leaders about issues with two of its heart surgeons, according to the Times.

Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, which owns the hospital, recently hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate issues at the facility and a panel of outside experts to help reopen the heart surgery program.

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