CMS extends Hastings Hospital compliance deadline
TAHELQUAH – W.W. Hastings Hospital has an extended deadline of Dec. 22 to comply with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in three services areas after a survey in July found the hospital did not meet Medicare requirements as an accredited entity.
The previous deadline was Oct. 31.
In an Oct. 15 Tribal Council Health Committee meeting, Health Services Executive Director Dr. Charles Grim said the deadline was extended due to CMS scheduling changes and that he and hospital officials have been working with an outside consultant group to ensure all noncompliant findings are being corrected.
“We’ve got all the things completed that were in the focused survey findings. We’ve had an outside consultant group take a look at it and say that we went above and beyond to fix those things…continuing to just have them take a look at our entire service line and see if there are other things we can improve,” Grim said. “I feel like we are in very, very good shape and one of the things that I say is that every day that they aren’t here we are making improvements and so the longer it takes them to get back, the more things that we’re improving service-wise.”
On Oct. 2, CMS sent a letter to Hastings officials stating that the “date of your projected termination from the Medicare program would be October 31, 2018. Due to scheduling changes, we have extended your termination date to December 22, 2018. This letter serves as your official notification of this date change.”
The July survey followed a “lapse in protocol” at Hastings in which 186 patients were potentially exposed to cross-contamination by John Ross Baker, a former registered nurse, and were asked to return for blood testing.
Records showed that as of Aug. 10 all 186 patients had been contacted with 147 being tested, 24 refusing testing and 15 patients not showing for testing. No patients had tested positive for any pathogens that did not already have that diagnosis prior to the protocol lapse.
The Oklahoma Board of Nursing in September placed Baker’s nursing license on probation for two years, ordered him to complete remedial nursing education courses and pay a $5,000 administrative penalty fee and the $3,789 cost of the OBN’s investigation.
In the July survey, CMS found Hastings noncompliant in the Nursing Services, Pharmaceutical Services and Infections Control areas.
Hastings officials then had to submit a plan of correction to CMS and place it into action.
“The Cherokee Nation remains confident in its plan approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, and looks forward to showing the agency our high quality of patient care and services during its visit,” Grim said.
On Nov. 7, CMS public affairs specialist Bob Moos said surveyors would make an unannounced visit to Hastings Hospital, which indicates they have yet to visit the facility.
“Surveyors will make an unannounced visit to the facility sometime before the new termination date to determine whether the facility has corrected the three deficiencies identified earlier and to determine that it is now compliant with Medicare requirements. The results of that inspection will determine any future steps,” Moos said.