Brookwood Crisis Averted

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center avoided a potentially catastrophic loss of federal funds Thursday night, when an agreement was reached allowing the hospital to continue treating Medicare and Medicaid patients.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted an extension after the Homewood hospital presented an action plan to address concerns over patient safety.   

"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," Brookwood CEO Keith Parrott said in a statement. 

"I am proud that our team was able to successfully make the organizational and procedural changes required.  Going forward, we will continue to work with our governing agencies, including CMS and the Alabama Department of Public Health, to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to patient safety and implementation of our corrective actions.

"Brookwood Baptist Medical Center takes patient safety very seriously and remains fully committed to providing the quality of care our community expects." 

For the second time since May, the hospital was found to be out of compliance with federal standards, endangering its agreement to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.  Inspectors said two patient deaths and several other incidents endangering patient safety were the result of problems at the hospital.  A psychiatric ward patient died of a heart attack after being restrained face down, investigators said.   In another case, investigators said Brookwood staff failed to act after a patient had no heart rate for 15 minutes, and died.  Brookwood was also cited for an incident in which hospital employees did not notify a doctor about a patient's low blood pressure, which resulted in the patient being unresponsive and not breathing.    

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