HAMLET — Medicare and Medicaid recipients might not be able to get treatment at Sandhills Regional Medical Center after Sept. 5.
The private, for-profit hospital is in “immediate jeopardy” status with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Health care facilities placed in this category are in danger of losing their certification for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement unless a plan of correction is filed and accepted within 23 days of the notification.
Michael McNair, who is listed on the hospital’s website as the chief executive officer, was “no longer with Sandhills,” according to the administrative office.
Administrative secretary Gail Bennett said she did not recall when McNair’s last day was, but that interim CEO Lisa Dolan took charge on Aug. 18. Hospital officials would not confirm whether the change in executive management was related to a July 28 incident involving the arrest of a hospital janitor on three felony accounts of sexual activity by a custodian.
Lee Millman of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that if a hospital’s plan of correction is accepted, the facility will receive an unannounced inspection to verify compliance with the plan.
“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has cited our hospital related to a recent patient safety event,” a Sandhills Regional Medical Center news release states. “We are taking this matter very seriously. Administration and nursing leadership have reviewed the survey findings and developed a robust plan to meet the standards of care. This plan of correction has already been implemented and accepted by CMS. We feel strongly that the actions that have been taken will address the concerns raised by CMS in a pending re-survey of the hospital prior to Sept. 6.
“Among our actions included strengthening our patient safety policies and procedures. Members of our caregiving team have gone through additional training and compliance will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
“Leadership of the hospital — administration, medical staff and board of trustees — is engaged to monitor progress and identify opportunities for continued improvement,” the release continues. “Staffing has been focused in some areas of the hospital to support these practices.
In the statement, officials said safety and security at the Hamlet hospital have been ratcheted up.
“Providing safe, quality care is our priority and we will take the appropriate actions to fulfill this commitment to every patient,” the release states. “We believe our new processes have created a markedly safer environment and we are committed to taking any necessary actions to meet and exceed the standards of care required by CMS.”
Dolan would not answer questions about the new processes Monday and said the statement from Sandhills would serve as the hospital’s only comment on the matter.
Melonie Flomer works as a reporter for the Richmond County Daily Journal. Reach her at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @melonieflomer.