Struggling rural Missouri hospital booted from Medicare

5 months 1 week 4 days ago Saturday, March 09 2019 Mar 9, 2019 Saturday, March 09, 2019 11:48:00 AM CST March 09, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

SWEET SPRINGS (AP) — A rural Missouri hospital has been cut off from the federal Medicare program after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found serious deficiencies threatening patient health and safety.

The federal health agency pulled I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs from its Medicare program on Thursday, KCUR-FM reported.

The 15-bed facility about 65 miles east of Kansas City closed and voluntarily suspended its license in February after state regulators found that it was "out of regulatory compliance."

Oklahoma-based Cohesive Healthcare Management & Consulting was appointed by a court to take over the hospital's operations. Cohesive Healthcare plans to appeal the federal agency's decision.

The hospital's interim CEO, Roland Gee, said the facility is working to address deficiencies so that it can reopen.

I-70 Community Hospital is the latest facility formerly run by North Kansas City-based EmpowerHMS to face regulatory and financial issues. Oswego Community Hospital in Oswego, Kansas, which was owned by EmpowerHMS, also shuttered in February, saying it was unable to pay its bills.

Two other hospitals formerly operated by EmpowerHMS, Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro, Kansas, and Fulton Medical Center in Fulton, Missouri, were placed under new management after struggling to pay employees and meet other financial obligations.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid also cited Hillsboro Community Hospital for serious deficiencies that included a failure to follow chest-pain procedures for three patients with cardiac complaints and two patients for suicidal thoughts.

The hospital's CEO didn't return a request for comment.

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