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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removes Mercy Hospital Springfield from “immediate jeopardy” status.
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removes Mercy Hospital Springfield from “immediate jeopardy” status.

CMS clears Mercy from ‘immediate jeopardy’

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A safety investigation of Mercy Hospital Springfield by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services concluded with favorable results, according to officials with the health system.

Mercy issued a statement Sept. 29 indicating plans are in place to address the concerns and CMS removed Mercy Hospital Springfield from “immediate jeopardy” status. CMS spokeswoman Julie Brookhart confirmed the removal of the “immediate jeopardy” status but noted the hospital is still out of compliance for its conditions of participation for nursing services and patient rights. Officials are planning another visit this month to determine if the hospital meets that criteria.

An Aug. 25 investigation at Mercy Hospital Springfield found there was “immediate jeopardy” to the health and safety of some patients, and CMS notified the hospital its ability to bill Medicare would end Sept. 22 if the conditions were not improved, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

As a result, Mercy quickly fired 12 care providers and an interim leadership team was chosen — without Mercy Springfield Communities President Alan Scarrow — to address the issues. The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services conducted another survey, and the deadline was pushed back another week by CMS, according to SBJ archives. The specific nature of the incident has not been disclosed, but Mercy officials have alluded to care providers’ lack of treating “patients and visitors with dignity and compassion, even in highly tense situations.”

“I’d like to thank our providers, co-workers, leaders and interim leadership team for the tremendous effort they’ve put forth,” Mercy Springfield Communities interim President Jon Swope said in the statement on Friday. “We have implemented a variety of changes, including new training and revised policies.”

The statement indicated Mercy is planning additional training and improvements in the future, including the hiring of staff specifically trained to intervene in situations that require de-escalation assistance. The interim leadership team will remain in place for the time being, according to the statement.

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