The CMS said it is terminating its contract with Southwest Healthcare System in Murrieta, Calif., effective June 1, because of serious ongoing deficiencies in patient care.
CMS dropping contract with Calif. hospital
The two-hospital for-profit system was found to be out of compliance in nine areas required for participation as a Medicare provider of hospital services after a Jan. 19 inspection. Administration of medications, medical staff training, infection control and the safety of newborns were among the areas the CMS identified as deficient.
“The findings indicate that many previously identified systematic problems persist,” wrote Steven Chickering, western consortium survey and certification officer at the CMS, in a letter to Southwest Healthcare CEO Dennis Knox on April 15. “The survey also documented the inability of the hospital's governing body to indentify and take appropriate measures to eliminate clear threats to patient health and safety.”
A spokeswoman for Southwest Healthcare said in an e-mailed statement that the system is negotiating an agreement with the CMS that would “negate the termination action.” She said a resolution is expected shortly. Southwest operates Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar and Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta.
Earlier this week, the state of California fined Southwest $225,000 for three patient safety violations. The state has issued a total of six penalties to Southwest Healthcare, the most of any hospital system in the state.
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