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The state hospital has more time to try to save its Medicare funding

A sign pointing to the entrances of the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, MT.
Courtesy Montana State Hospital
/
Montana State Hospital
A sign pointing to the entrances of the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, MT.

At risk of losing Medicaid funding, the state hospital has been given more time correct patient safety issues

The Montana State Hospital has received an extension to work out a possible deal with federal health officials to prevent the loss of Medicare funding.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) warned the Montana State Hospital that it could lose Medicare funding this month if it didn’t correct issues related to patient safety. Inspectors found that some patients repeatedly fell and that the hospital didn’t implement COVID-19 mitigation measures, leading to four patient deaths.

In a letter sent to state health officials Friday, CMS extended the deadline for the hospital to have its plan of correction approved. CMS is considering entering into a longer-term agreement with state health officials to require a comprehensive review of the hospital's flaws and a plan to fix them.

The letter did not provide any more details on the possible agreement or how long the state hospital would have to correct problems related to patient falls and COVID infections.

In a statement to MTPR, state health department spokesperson Jon Ebelt said the agency supports the agreement.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.