Medicare funding termination date extended for Red River Regional Hospital

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BONHAM, Texas -- After citing Red River Regional Hospital for deficiencies which reportedly led to a patient's death in August, and sending the hospital a final termination notice last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services has now extended the hospital's Medicare agreement termination date to Nov. 10.

In May 2014, CMS surveyors were on site at Red River Regional Hospital in Bonham. And in September, we learned they found numerous deficiencies during their May visit, and gave the hospital 90 days to comply with Medicare standards.

That 90-day period ended on Sept. 24, and CMS sent a final termination notice to the Hospital, stating the existing deficiencies pose an immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety, and their Medicare agreement with the Hospital would be terminated on Oct. 9.

News 12 also obtained inspection records from CMS' unannounced visit to the hospital on Sep. 9, which detail the emergency room death of a 64-year-old woman, Patient #6. The report states deficient practices "Created an Immediate Jeopardy situation resulting in the death of patient No. 6, and the likelihood of serious harm, injury, impairment, or death to all patients receiving care at this hospital."

Now, News 12 has obtained another letter CMS sent to the Hospital. It states CMS received a letter from Red River Regional Hospital CEO David Conejo on Oct. 7, asking to enter into a Systems Improvement Agreement with CMS, to delay termination, providing "the opportunity to develop and implement systemic correction" at the hospital, with "the assistance of independent consultative experts."

CMS granted that request, extending the termination date for the Hospital from the Medicare agreement program to November 10.

According to CMS, "A Systems Improvement Agreement is a time-limited agreement between CMS and a hospital. In lieu of termination, the Systems Improvement Agreement requires the hospital to bring in external, third-party and CMS-approved quality improvement consultants..."

Those consultants would provide a comprehensive analysis of the entire hospital, and make recommendations for complying with Medicare/Medicaid standards.

We reached out to CEO David Conejo Thursday. He told News 12 he recognizes Red River Regional is the only hospital in Fannin County, and many residents depend on RRRH for Medicare and Medicaid services. He assures residents the hospital is taking the necessary steps to get back into compliance with Medicare standards, so they can continue to serve the Fannin County community.

In a press release last month he stated, "We don't like being in the position we are in, where our contract with Medicare is under review, but we are fully committed to satisfying the standards of Medicare."

We will continue to keep you updated with any new developments in this story.

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If you have a story you'd like Daniella Rivera to look into, email her at: daniella.rivera@kxii.com