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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Optimism high on pending CMS survey result for CHC

Medical staff and employees of the Commonwealth Health Center are optimistic that results of the survey done by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid at the hospital will be favorable, according to hospital director Jesse Tudela.

During a recent donation ceremony at the hospital, Tudela shared the many positive changes that are now evident at the only public medical facility on island, including the successful hiring of personnel to fill key positions, many of which have been vacated for years.

“I can say, we changed a lot and you will see the many improvements from years back. Although there remains many challenges, I am optimistic for our hospital,” said Tudela.

CMS has yet to issue the final results of the survey, which was held in September 2012.

Tudela, who handles the operational side of CHC, cited as one of their notable achievements the increased number of the medical workforce, including ancillary services.

Healthcare corporation board chair Joaquin Torres echoed Tudela’s optimism yesterday and confirmed that CMS has yet to issue a decision.

The Commonwealth Health Center was earlier cited with numerous deficiencies in its operation that threatened the facility’s Medicare certification. To rectify these citations, CHC developed a corrective action plan to resolve many of the concerns.

During the resurvey, the hospital’s condition of participation with Medicare remains in effect until a decision is reached whether to retain or terminate the certification.

A five-member CMS team made a surprise inspection of the hospital on Sept. 9. Compared to the survey conducted in September 2012, the team did not raise major concerns or deficiencies.

CHC receives approximately $22 million in reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare yearly. Without the certification for continued Condition of Participation, CHC stands to lose this huge federal assistance.

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