Four of five hospitals in the Lovelace Sandia Health System, Albuquerque, N.M., were jointly handed a preliminary denial of accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Albuquerque Regional Medical Center, West Mesa Medical Center, Women's Hospital and the Rehabilitation Hospital of New Mexico all were denied preliminary accreditation. System officials plan to appeal the denial, and believe that in rating the hospitals together, the JCAHO didn't follow its procedures, according to a statement from the system. Officials said that the hospitals operated as one hospital under their previous owner but no longer do so, making a joint accreditation inappropriate.
Charlene Hill, a JCAHO spokeswoman, said in general that hospitals request a joint accreditation process, and the JCAHO will do a single accreditation only when certain conditions are met. The JCAHO said the hospitals failed 17 of 250 standards, according to spokesman Arturo Delgado.
A fifth hospital in the Lovelace Sandia system, Lovelace Medical Center, was accredited by the JCAHO in January. Ardent Health Services, Nashville, Tenn., owns the Lovelace Sandia system.
Ardent also said it completed the sale of its psychiatric division for $560 million to Psychiatric Solutions, Franklin, Tenn. The deal leaves Ardent with 15 acute-care hospitals and a health plan in Albuquerque. The company will use the proceeds to retire about $225 million in bonds and pay off $297.5 million in bank loans.