AP NEWS

Feds: Kansas mental hospital at risk of losing Medicare cash

December 20, 2019 GMT

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. (AP) — One of Kansas’ two state mental hospitals is again at risk of losing Medicare funds.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that patient care problems at Adair Acute Care — located inside Osawatomie State Hospital — “substantially limit the hospital’s capacity to render adequate care and services,” according to documents obtained by The Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star.

CMS has told state officials it will terminate Medicare payments to the 60-bed Adair unit in March 2020 unless Kansas corrects the problems.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which oversees state hospitals, has filed a plan to correct the problems, said agency spokeswoman Cara Sloan-Ramos. She said she believed that the plan will make it “unnecessary to terminate the hospital’s Medicare provider agreement” and described the problems as documentary “omissions in patient files.”

CMS inspectors, who surveyed Adair from Nov. 4 through Nov. 6, focused on eight patients, finding that the treatment for some patients needed to be more frequent and intense. Inspectors also found missing treatment notes and plans that lacked specific goals.

The ultimatum is the latest setback to the state’s beleaguered mental health hospital system, which has been beset by worker shortages for years. Osawatomie, located in northeast Kansas, has especially struggled to stay in compliance with federal authorities.

CMS decertified the entire Osawatomie State Hospital in January 2016 in response to security and safety issues. In December 2017 the agency re-certified the Adair portion of the facility.

The decision meant Osawatomie could again receive Medicare funding for those 60 beds. The facility’s loss of certification at one point was costing the state upwards of $1 million a month in federal funds.

The hospital has limited admissions to less than 170 since 2015, a policy that has placed additional strain on the state system. Officials have told lawmakers they will deliver a plan by January to lift the cap.