Greenville (S.C.) Memorial Hospital risks losing Medicare and Medicaid contracts worth about $500 million in annual revenue if it fails to improve processes in its emergency room where a patient died earlier this month while being restrained by hospital security.
The CMS on Tuesday notified Greenville's parent organization, Greenville Health System.
The agency has given Greenville Memorial until April 16 to comply with recommended improvements to ER processes, including in the areas of patient rights, nursing services and governing oversight. No other system hospital or facility is affected by the notice.
South Carolina state regulators launched a site survey of Greenville Memorial this month after a 48-year-old Greenville man who allegedly became combative in the ER died when he was restrained by security on a gurney, according to Greenville media reports. The death was ruled a homicide by the Greenville County Coroner's Office.
After the state shared its findings with the CMS, the agency gave the hospital a 23-day termination notice “to protect the welfare of patients,” said April Washington, press officer for the CMS Atlanta regional office. “Our first priority is the health and safety of patients,” she said.
Greenville Memorial Hospital is already working on improving processes flagged in the survey, according to public response on the health system's web site.
In the letter, Dr. Scott Sasser, chair of emergency medicine at the health system, said the system has launched initiatives to strengthen clinical documentation, increase ER staffing and provide more intensive training.
“We do not anticipate any interruption of Medicare services, and we are committed to making improvements over and beyond what the CMS requires,” Sasser wrote.