A Kentucky hospital has halted its Medicare-funded heart transplant program, while a hospital in Washington, D.C., said it just received the green light from the CMS to resume its program.
The University of Kentuckys Chandler Medical Center told the Associated Press that the move to stop performing heart transplants is voluntary and that it notified the CMS in a letter last week that it would be doing so. Chandler Medical has performed fewer and fewer heart transplants over the years and failed to meet the Medicare-mandated 12 procedures annually, the AP said. In 2006, the hospital performed only three heart transplants.
Meanwhile, Washington Hospital Center said that a two-year, $7 million plan to boost its number of heart transplants and to prevent the program from being halted by the CMS has been a success. The hospital has raised the number of transplants it performs to meet CMS requirements. The hospital now has four cardiologists, five cardiac surgeons and a larger nursing and support staff. -- by Matthew DoBias