by Madeline Fox, Kansas News Service
Osawatomie State Hospital is again eligible for millions of dollars in federal Medicare payments after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recertified its acute care center.
The state psychiatric hospital lost its certification in December 2015 after the reported rape of an employee exposed security concerns and staffing shortages. A subsequent inspection in May 2017 revealed problems with sanitation, infection control and fire safety.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which oversees the state’s psychiatric hospitals, has been working to decrease staff vacancy levels at Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals in recent years. Osawatomie now has a 16.7 percent staff vacancy rate, down from as high as 32 percent.
“This is a big leap for us from where we started, and it’s really good news for all the hard work folks at Osawatomie did,” KDADS secretary Tim Keck said Tuesday.
Recertification of the Adair Acute Care Center, a 60-bed section of the hospital that serves patients who need a more intensive level of care, allows Osawatomie to bill for care provided to patients covered by Medicare. Those federal payments had averaged about $1 million per month.
“I’m incredibly pleased that the work to restore Osawatomie Hospital’s participation in the Medicare program has paid off so clearly,” Gov. Sam Brownback said in a Tuesday news release about the hospital’s recertification. “The determination and effort the staff put toward successful recertification shows the commitment level the State of Kansas has to vulnerable people who need help.”
Keck said KDADS still has more work to do on Osawatomie, including a push during the upcoming legislative session to privatize operations and build new facilities.
Madeline Fox is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. You can reach her on Twitter @maddycfox. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to kcur.org.