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Mercy Hospital Springfield is no longer under threat of losing its Medicare agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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Mercy Hospital Springfield is no longer under threat of losing its Medicare agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Mercy gets all clear from CMS

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rescinded threats to terminate its Medicare agreement with Mercy Hospital Springfield.

The all clear follows the removal of Mercy from “immediate jeopardy” status in October. At the time, the Springfield hospital still had to prove it met the conditions of participation for nursing services and patient rights.

A notice provided yesterday to Springfield Business Journal from CMS indicated Mercy met the necessary conditions.

“As a result, the secretary of Health and Human Services is continuing the agreement with Mercy Hospital Springfield in the Medicare program,” the notice reads.

Mercy spokeswoman Sonya Kullman issued a statement on behalf of the hospital, indicating it has not yet received direct notification from the CMS, but is eligible to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments.

“Mercy Hospital Springfield continues to welcome all patients regardless of their payment source, and remains committed to providing a safe, caring environment for its patients, visitors and co-workers,” the statement reads.

Mercy’s local hospital came under fire starting in August when CMS began investigating claims of abuse or neglect of four patients in the emergency and psychiatric departments. A 105-page report released by the CMS found hospital leaders failed to prevent abuse or neglect, remove staff who were involved and investigate the matters in a timely manner. The allegations included assault by security guards and a patient who was forced to swallow a pill.

The claims led to the layoffs of a dozen staff members and the installation of an interim leadership team — which included Mercy Dr. Alan Scarrow losing his president title. He continues to work as a full-time neurosurgeon. Kullmann said this morning Jon Swope, Mercy central region president, is continuing to serve as interim president “for the immediate future.”

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