Bankrupt hospital in immediate jeopardy owes $2.3M to vendors

A new corrective action plan reveals that deficiencies at Saint Catherine Medical Center in Ashland, Penn., are directly related to its debt of an estimated $2.3 million owed to 76 vendors, HealthLeaders Media reported. After discovering serious patient safety risks through a March 27 surprise survey, the state health department, on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, placed the hospital on immediate jeopardy to halt new admissions to Saint Catherine, as well as surgical services, emergency, and outpatient procedures. The hospital on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The report revealed extensive medical supply shortages, including syringes, needles, catheter kits, surgical gloves, medicated soap, disposable bed pans, among other limited supplies. In addition, the report indicated delays in maintenance and equipment repairs at its acute care facility for coal heating, water company, electricity, phone service, computer system, carpet cleaning, elevator inspection and repair, answering service, office equipment and food supply--also all related to vendor debts, HealthLeaders noted.

CMS said it will end Medicare's agreement with the hospital by April 19--just days away--if it doesn't conduct corrective actions to remove the immediate jeopardy status. That risks the hospital's Medicare payments, estimated at $22 million net patient revenue in 2010. Article