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Medicare/Medicaid remain in place at Baptist Hospital; clarification of legal notice in newspaper
BEAUMONT - Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas is assuring the public that Medicare and Medicaid participation remain in place and will continue to remain in effect at the hospital following a self-reported incident at the Behavioral Health Unit. That unit is separate from the main hospital.
The incident triggered the involvement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a resulting legal notice that indicated the termination of Medicare and Medicaid participation April 30, which won't happen, according Mary Poole, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Director of Public Relations.
"There was an incident at the Behavioral Health Unit," Poole told KFDM News. "We self-reported it in March. They came March 26 and agreed with us about some issues, primarily one-to-one monitoring between patients and nurses at that particular unit, separate from the hospital. We asked them to help us strengthen our policies at that unit. We told them we'll bring in a consultant to help us do so. But under that process, they (CMS) have the opportunity to put a notice in the newspaper."
Poole emphasizes Medicare and Medicaid participation remain in full force at Baptist Beaumont Hospital.
Baptist Receives CMS Notification
April 18, 2014 - All hospitals must comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Conditions of Participation to receive funding from these programs, but more importantly, to ensure that safe, quality care is provided to patients.
With Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas' mission at the forefront, "dedicated to providing high quality health services and Sacred Work in a Christian environment," Baptist Beaumont Hospital responded immediately when a State Survey conducted on March 26 - 27, 2014, to follow up on a self-reported incident, revealed a preliminary report that an immediate jeopardy level finding existed for our Quality Assurance/Process Improvement (QA/PI) Program and compliance with our policy for 1:1 Monitoring of Behavioral Health Patients. Reviews by our regulatory agencies are common and represent that a hospital is providing safe, quality care to patients.
Though Baptist Beaumont has corrective action plans in place, the hospital had been unable to fully resolve surveyor concerns. In response, Baptist Beaumont Hospital received a notice on April 15, 2014, of termination of Medicare participation from CMS. After Baptist Beaumont held discussions with CMS, CMS agreed on April 17, 2014 to change its recommendation of termination to allow time (about 30 days) for both parties to negotiate the terms of a System Improvement Agreement (SIA). Within the next month, it is expected that an external consulting company will be selected and approved by CMS to work with Baptist Beaumont to complete a "gap analysis" relative to the CMS Conditions of Participation (COP) and execute a secondary plan of action - communicating continually with CMS.
Initiation of the SIA allows Baptist Beaumont to remain fully licensed and accredited during the term of the agreement, effective for approximately one year. Following the agreement, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas will remain accredited and fully licensed after the agreement expires. As a routine standard operating procedure, CMS had the opportunity to post a Medicare "termination notice" in the legal section of the Beaumont Enterprise while the SIA negotiations move forward.
"We are working 24/7 not only to ensure we are in compliance, but to go beyond and improve in other areas for the well-being of our patients and families, staff and all who visit Baptist Beaumont Hospital," stated David Parmer, CEO. "We continually strive to deliver exceptional care resulting in positive patient experiences for the best possible outcomes."
Some of the corrective and sustainable actions instituted at Baptist Beaumont Hospital since Mid-March include:
Baptist Beaumont is discussing a System Improvement Agreement (SIA) with CMS. An SIA typically improves hospital quality metrics, compliance across the Medicare Conditions of Participation (COP), and assists hospitals in maintaining compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation therefore allowing them to continue receiving Medicare funding.
All of the immediate actions, implementation plans and long-term strategies are reported through Baptist Beaumont's Quality Assessment/Performance Improvement (QAPI) Program to senior management, CMS, and the Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas Board of Directors, who are continuously engaged in the implementation of all actions and improvements.
"We are pleased with the efforts and response by everyone to come together and work on improvements with a common spirit and devotion to provide superior quality and compassionate care," said David Parmer. "We are privileged to serve this community."
About Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas
Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas has been serving the community for over 60 years. Our healthcare system is dedicated to providing quality health services in a Christian environment in order to improve healthcare for members of the Southeast Texas community. Baptist Beaumont Hospital is licensed for 508 beds.