Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles has presented the CMS with a corrective-action plan to improve conditions at the facility.
The 204-bed hospital had been cited for providing poor care, and media reports indicated that at least one patient may have died from neglect. King-Harbor had been given 23 days by the CMS to submit a plan of corrective action or risk losing Medicare certification.
In a letter to the CMS branch in San Francisco, the hospital cited immediate actions it took following the death of Edith Rodriguez, 43, who had collapsed in the emergency room of the hospital last month and died after not receiving help.
The incident had immediately been reported to the CMS and Californias Division of Licensing shortly after it took place, the letter stated. In addition, the hospital had promptly suspended the triage nurse who had been on duty and conducted an immediate and thorough investigation.
Emergency staff received training less than a week after the incident to ensure there would be no reoccurrence and a monitoring system has been put in place to prevent further lapses in care, the letter stated. King-Harbor said it has taken other actions such as emphasizing to staff the hospitals obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act.
The story of Rodriguezs death caught the attention of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who had sent a letter to the CMS last week asking how it was going to ensure the safety of patients at the hospital. -- by Jennifer Lubell