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Deficiencies at Grady Memorial Prompt CMS Review

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, October 18, 2011

A complaint survey into the death of a 60-year-old patient, who jumped from her 11th floor room at Grady Memorial Hospital, has identified serious deficiencies at the hospital that limit the hospital's "ability to render adequate care" and will require a full survey of the facility, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The deficiencies also prevent Grady from "being in compliance" with the conditions of participation for the federal Medicare program.

Alston "Pete" Correll, who chairs the Grady Memorial board of directors, was notified of the hospital's deficiencies in a Sept. 28 letter from the Atlanta office of CMS. HealthLeaders Media obtained a copy of the letter and the deficiency report from CMS on Friday following a freedom of information request. Grady Memorial Hospital declined to provide documents or information related to the complaint survey.

At the time Grady Memorial was awaiting the arrival of its new CEO, John Haupert, who arrived on Oct 3. He was formerly COO of Parkland Memorial in Dallas. Parkland and Dallas CMS officials recently signed a systems improvement agreement to permit that hospital to remain open while it works to correct deficiencies that threatened its closure.

A complaint survey can originate from several sources, including patients or their families. Efforts to identify who initiated the complaint survey were unsuccessful. The complaint survey was conducted by an unidentified state survey agency.

A full survey of the 689-bed Grady Memorial will be conducted in the next few weeks, according to the CMS letter. The survey team will arrive unannounced and spend several days looking at all aspects of the hospital facility and operations. If any deficiencies are identified during the survey,  Grady Memorial will be required to submit to CMS a corrective action plan that separately addresses each deficiency..

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