Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: August 31, 2007

  Contact: Debbie Crane or
Mark Van Sciver (919) 733 9190

State Mental Health Director Announces Focus on Broughton Hospital

RALEIGH – The director of the N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services says his division is focusing on Broughton Hospital to ensure that the state psychiatric hospital doesn't lose federal funding for patients.

“Every patient in our state psychiatric hospitals deserves the best possible care,” said MH/DD/SAS Director Mike Moseley. “That's why we will have a team of professional experts on the ground at Broughton first thing Tuesday morning to begin working with hospital staff to improve care.”

Moseley's announcement comes after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) told Broughton that it was going to deny Medicare and Medicaid funding for Broughton patients based on an investigation of the hospital that stemmed from a February incident in which a patient died while at Broughton. Earlier this month, CMS ordered Broughton to devise a plan to avoid similar incidents. When CMS inspectors went to Broughton to check out that plan, they found another patient incident that led them to recommend denial of Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The CMS action is effective August 25, which is the date that CMS completed its hospital survey. Medicare and Medicaid patients who were at the hospital on the 25 th will be covered for 30 days, but Medicare and Medicaid will not cover new patients while the CMS action is in effect. Moseley said his division is working quickly to resolve the issues and begin to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. In the meantime, Broughton will continue to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients and find dollars elsewhere in the state mental health system to cover their care.

“We want to resolve this situation as quickly as possible,” said Moseley. “ Broughton Hospital has a long record of excellent service to western North Carolina . We are going to make certain that tradition continues.”

In the first incident, a patient died February 1 while in restraint at the hospital. The second incident occurred on August 19, when a patient, who was supposed to be under close supervision, fell. That patient is recovering.

Broughton Hospital receives about a million dollars a month in Medicaid and Medicare patient funding. Approximately 22 percent of Broughton's patients receive Medicare or Medicaid.

The team that will arrive on Tuesday at the hospital will include experts from other state institutions, including a psychiatrist and a nurse specialist. They will work with Broughton staff to improve nursing care and resolve any problems the team identified.

CMS will reinspect the facility before it can begin to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

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Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919)733-9190
FAX (919)733-7447

Debbie Crane
Director