TOPEKA — Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck told lawmakers Wednesday the department was expecting another review “any day” of a state psychiatric hospital that is losing approximately $1 million a month in federal reimbursements.
Osawatomie State Hospital was decertified by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in late 2015 and no longer receives federal reimbursements for the patients it cares for. KDADS has long been trying to get 60 of the hospital’s 206 patient beds re-certified. Keck said Thursday he thought that could bring back approximately $400,000 of the $1 million the hospital no longer receives in Medicare reimbursements.
Keck told lawmakers on the Legislative Budget Committee on Thursday that he thought the hospital was ready for another survey by the federal agency to determine whether it met requirements to again be certified, but lawmakers said they were frustrated the hospital still wasn’t compliant with standards.
The hospital failed to get re-certification after a survey from CMS in May. Keck referred to that as a “halt” in the recertification process. He said the department did not have to reapply for re-certification, but rather tell CMS when the hospital was ready for another survey.
“We’ve been talking about this since February,” said Sen. Carolyn McGinn, a Sedgwick Republican and vice chair of the committee.
In its survey in May, CMS found the hospital was not meeting regulations that govern how it hands out medications, prepares food and treats patients.
Keck said the deficiencies related to the hospital’s operations, not directly to patient care.
“Patient care is much, much better than it was even six months ago or a year ago,” Keck said.
Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly, Topeka, took issue with that characterization.
“I think that food service is an important part of taking care of patients. I also think — particularly in a psychiatric hospital — medication is a critical part of patient care,” Kelly said.
McGinn said the issues CMS cited were “daily routines of hospitals and nursing home facilities.”
“I don’t know why we can’t get that right,” McGinn said.
Keck said some of the problems CMS cited came because the hospital did not have official policies in place, but that the hospital had been meeting those standards.
Keck told lawmakers the hospital faces at least two more surveys. He said he expects one in the coming days to take another look at the deficiencies, but he doesn’t know whether the review will be targeted to look at problem areas or a full survey. After that, he said, inspectors will come back within a few months to make sure the hospital is still compliant.