It’s getting to be almost comical if the consequences for patients weren’t so serious. Franklin Regional Hospital, which was just denied state permission to move to a wealthier area, has been put on notice for the second time in the last few months that it is in danger of losing all Medicare and Medicaid patients. Why? The federal government, in a new inspection, has found more serious problems with healthcare quality at the facility and will deny Medicare and Medicaid payments â€“ half the hospital’s annual revenue â€“ June 22 if problems aren’t corrected.
Let’s put this in perspective. Franklin almost lost its Medicare and Medicaid funding a few months ago following a similar devastating federal review and report. As a result, Franklin fired its CEO, pledged to take corrective action, and tried to assure the community everything was just grand. Health Management Associates â€“ the national for-profit hospital company that owns Franklin Regional â€“ is a multi-billion dollar corporation with millions of dollars in profits. Given those resources and the seriousness of the situation at Franklin, it is criminal that this gigantic company clearly isn’t devoting more profits to fixing quality problems that threaten the lives of people in Franklin County. The hospital has been on notice for months and must be thumbing their nose at the federal government regulators, doing just the minimum they think they can get away with and still keep operating.
Franklin provides a devastating example of why for-profit organizations shouldn’t be in the business of providing healthcare and how the profit motive makes institutions focus on the bottom line rather than quality.
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