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Published: Friday, 12/21/2012

UT: Feds say med center has fixed deficiences

BLADESTAFF

A team sent by a federal agency to conduct a follow-up inspection at the University of Toledo Medical Center has found that the institution has reached full compliance for participation in Medicare and Medicaid programs, a university official said.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs at UTMC, said Thursday that the two-day unannounced survey by the Ohio Department of Health found that the hospital was “100 percent” in addressing deficiencies found during a four-day visit during the week of Nov. 5.

“There was not a single area that was cited to be out of compliance,” he said.

A 73-page report was produced from the intensive examination conducted on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The recent inspection, Dr. Gold said, focused on selected areas in the plan of correction the hospital submitted to federal officials.

“What they are doing is coming back and determining that we did everything that we said we did,” he said.

The review and follow-up surprise inspection were triggered by an Aug. 10 kidney transplant surgery error that resulted in UTMC, the former Medical College of Ohio, voluntarily suspending the organ donor program as federal and state reviews and reports continue.

A viable kidney was thrown out and rendered useless during the transplant procedure. The hospital announced last week that it will begin resuming performing live kidney transplants.

CMMS, the federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid, found what it called “condition-level” deficiencies that the hospital needed to correct before Feb. 5 to continue receiving Medicare funding.

Dr. Gold said that between 35 to 45 percent of annual patient services are paid through Medicaid programs.

Among the deficiencies cited in the report were instances of staff failing to follow standards for sanitizing their hands, for changing bandages on wounds, and for handling patient medications.

Dr. Gold said the next step in the process is for the state Department of Health team to make a recommendation to CMMS, which in turn will make a recommendation on the hospital’s participation in the federal programs.



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