Johns Hopkins All Children's still noncompliant with some regulations, CMS says

A February follow-up inspection by CMS found some compliance issues remained unresolved at St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.

The follow-up inspection found the hospital is still noncompliant with some governance, quality assurance and infection control processes, specifically related to leadership structure and physician management. A March 7 letter from CMS to Kevin Sowers, president of Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System, stated the hospital has until mid-April to resolve the issues or lose public funding for All Children's, the Times reported. All Children's must submit a corrective action plan by March 17.

This is the second time CMS has threatened to withhold public funding due to lapses in infection control. In January, the agency placed the hospital in "immediate jeopardy," after an inspection found significant safety issues. CMS accepted All Children's initial plan of correction Feb. 22 and removed the hospital from "immediate jeopardy" status after an on-site survey, a spokesperson told Becker's via email. 

"Yesterday, as expected, CMS officially notified us that, as a result of corrective actions taken by Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, the same areas that had previously contributed to our IJ status are now considered to be 'condition level,' which is an anticipated step in the right direction in this long and important process," the spokesperson said. "We take the issues raised by our regulators very seriously and will continue to collaborate closely with them as we implement our plan of correction."

The January inspection came a few months after a Times investigation revealed that the mortality rate at All Children's heart unit had tripled from 2015 to 2017. Following the revelations, hospital CEO Jonathan Ellen, MD, Vice President Jackie Crain, and Jeffrey Jacobs, MD, deputy director of the hospital's heart institute, all quit. All Children's also conducted an internal review that found 13 cases in which heart unit patients were harmed by care.

Details on what the February follow-up inspection found will be made public once the hospital submits its corrective plan later this month, according to the Times.

Editor's note: This article was updated March 11 at 1:15 p.m. to provide additional information from Johns Hopkins All Children's. 

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