The University of Louisville Hospital, a KentuckyOne Health facility, is under investigation by the state for how layoffs, particularly in its nursing department, have affected patient care.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has opened an investigation of the hospital after several of its physicians claimed that layoffs among nurses and other staff have caused major patient safety concerns, the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reported.
Dr. J. David Richardson, a professor of general surgery at the University of Louisville and president of the American College of Surgeons, told the Courier-Journal that the emergency room is poorly staffed at night.
Beth Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, confirmed that the hospital is being investigated. She said the agency can't provide any further details at this time.
David McArthur, a KentuckyOne spokesman said the system is awaiting the agency's report and has already assembled a group that will evaluate and address any recommendations. “We are always committed to quality and safety and have been investing significant resources to continually improve key areas of hospital performance.”
McArthur added that reductions in staff size occurred more than two years ago.
In 2012, KentuckyOne partnered with the University of Louisville , but former Gov. Steve Beshear blocked a full merger partly because of concerns about applying the Roman Catholic Church's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services at a public hospital. KentuckyOne is a subsidiary of Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives.
In the most serious of circumstances, investigations by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services can lead to termination of Medicare and Medicaid funding by the CMS.
The Joint Commission re-accredited the hospital in January 2016 but did recommend it make improvements such as better documentation of infection prevention procedures.