Third Houston hospital gets sanctioned for insufficient care
HOUSTON (AP) — Federal health officials have sanctioned another Houston hospital after a state investigation found inadequate care in a case involving a patient’s death.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified public hospital network Harris Health System on Wednesday that Ben Taub Hospital violated federal patient care and safety requirements. The agency said Texas health officials found deficiencies in the April case.
The hospital system that runs Ben Taub hadn’t reported the death to the agency, and the agency instead learned of it in a complaint.
CMS has now placed Ben Taub under state and federal authority, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“These deficiencies have been determined to be of such a serious nature as to substantially limit your hospital’s capacity to render adequate care,” CMS wrote in the notification letter to Harris Health.
It’s the third hospital to be sanctioned by CMS in recent months; MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor St. Luke’s have also been placed under state and federal authority.
George Masi, CEO of Harris Health, revealed the death and CMS decision earlier this week in an email to hospital staff. He wrote that the death in the Ben Taub Emergency Center stemmed “from an ineffective process in patient monitoring and communication of critical lab values.”
No additional details were provided about the incident.
In Masi’s letter to staff, he wrote that Harris Health is working to resolve the matter.
“Harris Health’s leadership takes this matter very seriously,” Masi wrote. “Since the completion of the HHSC survey, Harris Health made substantial strides in achieving full compliance and will continue to work diligently to meet all of the applicable standards of care.”
Harris Health is now working on its corrective action plan, said a spokesman. It has 10 days to submit the plan before the Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducts a follow-up investigation.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com