Brookwood Baptist Medical Center reaches agreement with Medicare

Brookwood reaches agree with Medicare

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Brookwood Baptist Medical Center said in a statement that the CMS has accepted the hospital's action plan.

The full statement read:

We are pleased to report that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) survey has concluded, and Brookwood Baptist Medical Center's action plan has been accepted. We will continue to fully participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs without interruption. There is more work ahead, and we will be resurveyed in the future, but we are no longer in immediate jeopardy status.

Thursday night's announcement came after Brookwood was informed back in July there was a problem. After an investigation, it was found patients' lives were at risk to problems with nurses not checking on some patients. There have been reported patient deaths. We were told the hospital is still out of compliance because of the lack of an adequate plan, which has led to Brookwood hoping to convince CMS that is not true today. Local leaders are watching closely.

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center has been a fixture in the community since 1973. There are about 2,500 employees. The threat of the loss of funding has area leaders concerned.

"I would hate for us to lose a hospital but there are standards of performance," said Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington.

The hospital believes it can provide information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to keep their federal funding. Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens says the loss of Brookwood would be dramatic.

"This is important in so many areas. Where we got healthcare, where we look at jobs. Commerce," he said.

Former Alabama State Health Officer Don Williams said the loss of the hospital would mean the loss of one of the largest psychiatric care facility in the area that would be a burden to other area hospitals to pick up the slack. One Brookwood patient on Medicaid said she would not want to lose her doctor or have to move to another hospital for her healthcare needs.

Still, the Jefferson County Commission, which came through bankruptcy, is offering to help in any way they can.

"If Brookwood wants to engage us to do whatever we can to keep that facility open. I think I can speak for the commission we are willing and ready to do so," Carrington said.

CMS has the option to give another 90-day extension. If the coverage is d ropped, we are told Brookwood would have 30 days to transfer Medicare and Medicaid patients to other facilities.

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