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Immediate Jeopardy for PA Medical Center

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, April 6, 2012

[Update, 04/11/12: Saint Catherine Medical Center has filed for Chapter 11.]

Saint Catherine Medical Center in Ashland, PA faces the wrath of federal and state officials in the wake of a complaint survey, which uncovered serious deficiencies and violations that place patient health and safety in immediate jeopardy.

On Tuesday the medical center was notified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that because of the deficiencies the hospital no longer meets the requirements for participation in the federal Medicare program.

In an April 3 letter to Merlyn Knapp, the medical center's CEO, officials in the Philadelphia office of CMS said the Medicare agreement will be terminated by April 19 "if the immediate jeopardy has not been removed by that date."

Admissions Banned
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has effectively shuttered the Schuylkill County medical center by imposing a ban on new admissions, as well as emergency and outpatient procedures at the 67-bed hospital.

Holli Senior, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said that although there are no patients at St. Catherine, its license has not been revoked. "It's still able to submit a plan of correction to try and clean up its deficiencies," she told HealthLeaders Media.

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