Hastings now ‘in substantial compliance’ with Medicare guidelines

BY CHAD HUNTER
Reporter
01/01/2019 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH — A federal health agency has deemed W.W. Hastings Hospital in “substantial compliance” with Medicare guidelines following a December inspection that was prompted by deficiencies noted in July.

To save its Medicare status, Hastings was required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to comply by Dec. 22 in three areas of deficiency — nursing services, pharmaceutical services and infections control.

CMS Enforcement Branch manager Karen Hillman addressed December’s successful inspection in a letter to Hastings. The Dec. 18 letter indicates a survey was conducted by CMS and the Oklahoma State Department of Health the week prior. Inspectors “found W.W. Hastings Indian Hospital in substantial compliance with the applicable Medicare conditions of participation.”

“We have restored the ‘deemed’ status of your hospital and have transferred the survey jurisdiction back to the accrediting organization,” the letter states.

Hillman noted that under federal disclosure rules, plans to correct the deficiencies and the hospital’s comments on the survey findings become public records.

The hospital’s plan to address its deficiencies includes a “comprehensive training program” for nursing staff to ensure initial and ongoing instruction, along with increased infection-control training to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Hastings’ termination date from the Medicare program was initially Oct. 31, but that deadline was extended to Dec. 22 by request of CMS. In a previous letter, CMS stated that termination from the Medicare program “can only be averted by correction of the deficiencies, through submission of acceptable plans of correction and subsequent verification of compliance by CMS.”

The July survey that initially noted the deficiencies followed a “lapse in protocol” at Hastings in which 186 patients were potentially exposed to cross-contamination.
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