On the heels of last week's news regarding financial problems at Saint Catherine's Medical Center, the Fountain Springs hospital was dealt another blow this week by the state Department of Health: the facility may not accept new patients.
In an article in the RepublicanHerald.com, Department of Health Deputy Press Secretary Holli Senior explained the no-admissions order by saying, "On March 23, the Department of Health completed a complaint investigation at Saint Catherine Medical Center to determine compliance with state licensure and federal Medicare and Medicaid regulations for hospitals. As a result of this investigation, the department discovered serious deficiencies and violations of applicable regulations that it felt posed a significant threat to the health and safety of the patients at the facility. Therefore, a ban on new admissions was imposed."
The Department of Health reviews health care facilities regularly to insure the health, safety, and quality of care provided to patients, as well as making sure there are no deficiencies that could affect state licensure or eligibility for federal reimbursements through Medicaid and Medicare programs. Saint Catherine's has not been closed and can continue to operate as the deficiencies and regulation violations are addressed. As of yet, the hospital's board of directors had no comment on the no-admissions order.
It's difficult to see a health care facility in our own county identified as one with serious enough violations and deficiencies that they may no longer take in new patients. This means that sick and elderly residents who may be in need of immediate care will have to be taken to health care facilities many miles from home. But negligence of any degree cannot be accepted - the health and welfare of the patient must come first. If you or someone you know received inadequate care at a health care facility, you may have a case. Contact the attorney team at Michael J. O'Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.