CMS Warns of Patient Safety Risks at Texas Hospital.

Texas General Hospital in Grand Prairie, Texas, is at risk of being kicked out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs after the CMS found it to be putting its patients in danger by not providing some services or allowing medical personnel to provide care that’s beyond their training.

In May, state and federal auditors started a series of unannounced visits to the hospital and discovered that patients’ safety and health were at risk due to the hospitals’ conditions, according to documents released Tuesday to Modern Healthcare by the CMS.

“The (hospital’s) governing body failed to provide a safe setting for patients in that there is no adequate staff to care for the patients, and no supplies and medications needed to provide safe care to patients,” the auditors wrote in their reports.

The hospital reported a loss of $13.9 million on net patient revenue of $48.2 million in fiscal 2016, according to Modern Healthcare Metrics.
During one of the inspections, a concerned staff member told surveyors that a patient who suffered a stroke the previous night didn’t receive an adequate examination because there was no one present that could read the CT scan.

A number of other problems were cited by the agency:

  • The hospital couldn’t provide respiratory and radiology services to patients because the necessary staff members resigned their posts when the hospital could not pay them, according to the auditors’ reports.
  • The hospital also didn’t have enough nurses and tended to assign them primarily to the ED. There were no inpatient nurses available to admit a patient from the emergency department.
  • Surveyors discovered that paramedics were allowed to perform nursing tasks including peripheral IV placement, defibrillation and pacing, and patient restraints. They also were triaging patient as they arrived at the ED.

“Based on observations and interviews, it was determined that the deficient practices found posed an immediate jeopardy to the health and safety of patients,” the surveyors said in the federal reports.

Texas General also had an issue with IV tubing, and their supply had expired. At one point a staff member was asked to use an expired tube and they refused. There was not the necessary reagent in the lab to run diagnostic tests, according to the reports.

Patients had trouble filing complaints with state and federal authorities because hospital staffers gave them the wrong numbers to report their issues.

Texas General made headlines two years ago for charging the most money over the actual cost of services in the state of Texas.

The CMS plans to terminate Texas General Hospital ability to bill either Medicare and Medicaid starting October 18.

Attempts to reach leadership at Texas General Hospital for comment were unsuccessful.

A spokeswoman for Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce said that the hospital was still open.

October 10, 2018
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