Hamlet hospital interim CEO: ‘Concerns have been addressed’

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

Previous coverage
* Sept. 4: Hamlet hospital back on track?
* Aug. 22: Sandhills Regional Medical Center faces termination of Medicare payments
* July 28: Hospital janitor accused of sexually assaulting two patients

Lisa Dolan, interim chief executive office for Sandhills Regional Medical Center in Hamlet, told The Pee Dee Post in an email Thursday evening that a post-investigation interview with officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “was positive.”

The announcement comes two days before a government agency was set to suspend Medicare and  Medicaid payments.

A Sandhills Regional Medical Center photo

A Sandhills Regional Medical Center photo

In August, CMS published a legal notice that indicated Medicaid and Medicare payments would be suspended at the hospital — leaving patients covered under either plan without their regular doctors. The deadline set was Sept. 6. Even a temporary suspension would have been devastating and, for patients, disrupted their expected treatment plans.

But Dolan wrote that it appears there will not be a suspension.

“Our administration and nursing leadership have worked together to strengthen our policies and procedures to meet and exceed CMS expectations,” Dolan said. “CMS has accepted our plan of correction and concluded its onsite survey. While we have not yet received a written report, the verbal exit interview was positive and indicated their concerns have been addressed. We are pleased to continue as a participating provider for the Medicare program.”

At issue is the involuntary termination of the Medicare/Medicaid Provider Agreement between the hospital and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. A legal notice published Aug. 22, which The Pee Dee Post was first to report, indicated Sandhills Regional Medical Center failed in three areas — governing body, patient rights and nursing services.

On Thursday, a CMS representative who preferred not to be identified said staff at her agency were “working on the final report right now” shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday.

The report, the spokesperson said, should be available “in a couple days.”

On Aug. 22, the Post filed a Freedom of Information Act request to Bobby Cobb and Lee Millman, both of of the Atlanta office of CMS. The request specifically sought “Report 2567 and all related documents from Jan. 1, 2014 through Aug. 22, 2014.”

Through 4 p.m. Thursday, however, that request had not been fulfilled.

It’s not clear if the “patient safety issue” is related to the July arrest of a contractor who worked at the hospital as a janitor. Still, Dolan indicated that any threat to patient safety would get the administration’s attention and be addressed as quickly as possible.

“The care and safety of patients is our highest priority,” Dolan said via email. “Our Board of Trustees, Medical Staff and Administration are engaged and will continue to monitor our quality successes and identify opportunities for continued improvement.”

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  • http://peedeepost.com Trucker

    What I can’t understand is why this little cash strapped county needs two hospitals within five miles of each other.

  • Subtle One

    Prob because First wealth has all but turned one of them into a staging ground for a shuttle to moore county. We need Sandhills to step up and get things together so that we can provide good quality care INSIDE our county and help our local economy grow!!!

  • VictoriaV

    First Health provides EXCELLENT, COMPASSIONATE, SAFE, PATIENT ORIENTED, medical care at all four of its locations.The staff at these hospitals have been nationally and locally recognized for their accomplishments,bedside manner, and knowledgeable care. Richmond Memorial is and has received “shuttled” patients from Moore County, Hoke County, Montgomery County, Anson County, and yes even Sandhills Regional, due to the amount of patient care needs that were NOT able to be given at those locations or due to the dissatisfaction of the care the patient had been receiving and REQUESTED transfer . If patients are transferred elsewhere, it is because they are in need of extensive treatment, major surgeries, or RMH is at capacity. So, for those who assume that FirstHealth is providing a “staging ground for a shuttle to Moore County”, please make sure you have the correct information before speaking aloud or in this case typing. If people are concerned with making the county more money then maybe they should become more proactive in keeping the jobs that are already here instead of subtly trying to drive them away….hmmmm that’s an idea!

    With that being said! I do agree that Sandhills needs to get things together in order to provide good quality care because every patient deserves that, regardless of what hospital they choose.Each nurse having 8-10 patients a piece on their 12-13hr shift is NOT SAFE! I believe once administration and policy review takes place things will begin looking up for them. We are a community riddled with COPD, CHF,CRF,Cancer and Diabetics. One hospital alone cannot assume care of the entire county or else they will be sent out of this county along with the money that people seem to be concerned about. I truly wish them all the best and hope they can get on track.

    Sincerely,
    A Proud, Perfectly Content Employee for 7 years of:
    FIRSTHEALTH MOORE REGIONAL HOSPITAL, RICHMOND CAMPUS

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