CMS Review Finds Bay Area Psychiatric Hospital in Non-Compliance
A CMS review completed last week found that John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro was not in compliance in four of the seven areas investigated, hospital officials announced Thursday, the Oakland Tribune reports. CMS conducted the unannounced review of the 80-bed locked psychiatric facility, part of the Alameda County Medical Center, following the deaths of a doctor and a patient last year (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 2/6). Barbara Gagne, district administrator of the Department of Health Services' Licensing and Certification Division in Berkeley, in December 2003 recommended that the division investigate Alameda County Medical Center's operations on behalf of CMS. Gagne's recommendation was in response to the deaths of Dr. Erlinda Ursua, the hospital's head internal medicine physician, who was allegedly killed by a patient on Nov. 19, and Mark Oyarzo, a 38-year-old patient, who hanged himself in his room on Dec. 2 (California Healthline, 12/15/03). Details of the hospital's violations were not released but could include staff deficiencies, patient rights and governance, the Tribune reports. Failure to improve conditions at the hospital could result in a loss of accreditation and eligibility for Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursement. Hospital officials were required to submit a comprehensive plan for improvement within 10 working days of the completion of the CMS review(Oakland Tribune, 2/6). "The medical center started a plan [Friday] addressing the situation and is coming up with a plan to correct the deficiencies," Jeff Raleigh, a spokesperson for the medical center, said (Los Angeles Times, 2/7). If CMS accepts the medical center's plan, inspectors will conduct another unannounced review to determine whether corrections are being made or additional violations are occurring, according to Gretchen Cane, a nurse consultant with CMS (Oakland Tribune, 2/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.