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Termination notice issued to Jamestown hospital signals end of federal payments

The CMS spokesperson said this notice does not shutter the doors of hospitals. That is a decision for the medical center.

JAMESTOWN, Tenn. — The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final termination notice to Jamestown Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, May 28. 

According to the CMS spokesperson, the termination notice was based on the hospital’s failure to maintain compliance with the Conditions of Participation (COP) established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. 

This involuntary termination is effective June 12, which means Medicare will not make payments for services given to patients who are admitted on or after that date, according to CMS. 

CMS said inpatients admitted prior to June 12 payment will continue for a maximum of 30 days of inpatient services furnished on or after that date.

Termination of participation in the Medicare program will also result in the termination of the hospital's Medicaid agreement, according to CMS.

The CMS spokesperson said this notice does not shutter the doors of hospitals. That is a decision for the medical center.

RELATED: Jamestown hospital no longer admitting patients, in danger of closing 'any day now'

According to CMS, this case has been ongoing since Feb. 5, when the Tennessee State Survey Agency conducted a survey about a complaint that payroll checks were returned unpaid, bills were not being paid and a potential for the electricity to be turned off.  The hospital was placed on a 90-day termination schedule for May 16.

RELATED: Jamestown Regional Medical Center low on supplies, stops accepting ambulance patients

Following the Feb. 5 survey, the state agency received another complaint from a staff member alleging vendor services were being discontinued for non-payment, according to the CMS spokesperson. As a result, the state survey agency conducted another complaint investigation on April 11, which substantiated the complaint and cited the hospital for deficiencies related to Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) and Food and Dietetic Services condition of participation.

RELATED: Owner of rural East TN hospitals facing debts, lawsuits, lack of cash

The Feb. 5 complaint investigation found that the hospital owed 165 vendors a total of $2.9 million and 11 vendors had discontinued services for failure to pay accounts, according to the CMS spokesperson. 

CMS said the hospital negotiated payment plans with many of the vendors to ensure services continued without interruption. However, the follow-up survey conducted on April 11, found several services were still placed on hold due to delinquency in payment. 

In addition, the complaint survey revealed the hospital did not have a dietician on staff. The contracted dietician resigned in February 2019, and the hospital had not had a dietician since, according to CMS.

In a statement, CMS said it is working with the Tennessee State Survey Agency to ensure the safety of all patients in this facility and will continue to work with the hospital’s leadership to address its noncompliance.

To re-enter the Medicare Program, Jamestown Regional Medical Center must provide CMS with reasonable assurance of its capacity to achieve and sustain compliance with the requirements, according to the letter sent to the hospital.

Closest hospitals to Jamestown are:

  • Livingston Regional, a 110-bed-acute hospital located in Livingston, Tenn., about 29 miles from Jamestown.
  • Saint Thomas Highlands, a 60-bed acute care hospital located In Sparta, Tenn., roughly 62 miles from Jamestown.

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