- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) - Eastern State Hospital no longer has Medicare funding after a survey found it did not comply with requirements of participation for psychiatric hospitals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently submitted a termination notice, effective April 21, citing the hospital’s failure to correct a set of deficiencies surveyors noticed during a June survey of the Williamsburg hospital, the Daily Press (https://bit.ly/1VGpRMs ) reported.

The hospital fixed two of the three highlighted deficiencies by Sept. 17, according to the notice. The third deficiency, special medical record requirements for psychiatric hospitals, was not satisfactorily corrected by a third visit on Oct. 14 and a fourth visit Feb. 24.

The notice does not say which specific requirements were not met. Officials are still waiting for a more detailed report from CMS, said Maria Reppas, a spokeswoman for Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, which oversees the hospital.

The condition of participation outlines requirements related to patient assessments, psychiatric evaluations, treatment plans, recording progress notes and discharge planning and discharge summary, according to federal regulations.

The termination won’t affect patients, staffing or services, Reppas said. The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health is planning to provide resources to the hospital to make up for the loss and correct the problem.

The termination will cost the facility $600,000 to $700,000 per year, according to Reppas. The hospital’s operating budget for fiscal year 2016 is just under $71.5 million.

While hospital officials wait for a report from national experts, they plan to focus on strengthening the hospital’s administrative and clinical operations, said Daniel Herr, assistant commissioner of behavioral health services.

“When we have those recommendations, we will work on a plan of action,” he said.

The hospital is also working to fill two vacant positions that are critical to the facility’s operations: a director of nursing services and a chief medical officer.

Before the hospital lost its Medicare funding, CMS removed Medicaid money from the hospital’s geriatric unit last August. This was done after CMS determined that the nursing facility could not be an institution for mental diseases or used to treat people admitted against their will and kept in a locked facility, according to the notice.

The Virginia General Assembly agreed to cover the $10 million loss to the hospital’s fiscal year 2016 budget to allow officials to determine a plan for the patients affected and the program moving forward, Herr said. The legislature also agreed to pay for an independent review to assist with the plan.


Information from: Daily Press, https://www.dailypress.com/

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