WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Allegations made against Novant NHRMC put the hospital’s contract with Medicare in jeopardy, after state regulators identified numerous deficiencies that could potentially affect the healthy and safety of patients.

The Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent a letter to Novant Health NHRMC CEO Shelbourn Stevens notifying him of the findings of a visit on June 29 that determined ‘immediate jeopardy’ was identified during that visit.

Accredited hospitals must meet all of the Medicare Conditions of Participations for hospitals.

The visit determined NHRMC does not meet the following five Conditions of Participation in the Medicare Program.

  • Governing Body: There must be an effective governing body that is legally responsible for the conduct of the hospital, if a hospital does not have an organized governing body, the persons legally responsible for the conduct of the hospital must carry out the functions specified in this part that pertain to the governing body.
  • Patient Rights: A hospital must protect and promote each patient’s rights.
  • Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement: The hospital must develop, implement, and maintain an effective, ongoing, hospitalwide, data-driven quality assessment and performance improvement program. The hospital’s governing body must ensure that the program reflects the complexity of the hospital’s organization and services; involves all hospital departments and services (including those services furnished under contract or arrangement); and focuses on indicators related to improved health outcomes and the prevention and reduction of medical errors.
  • Nursing Services: The hospital must have an organized nursing service that provides 24-hour nursing services. The nursing services must be furnished or supervised by a registered nurse.
  • Emergency Services: The hospital must meet the emergency needs of patients in accordance with acceptable standards of practice. Time is critical in the provision of emergency care. The hospital must be able to demonstrate how the hospital’s other departments provide emergency patients the care and services needed within safe and appropriate times.

“When a hospital is found to be out of compliance with one or more Conditions of Participation, and immediate or serious threat to patient health and safety exists, a determination must be made that the facility o longer meets the requirements for participation as a provider of services  in the Medicare program. If the hospital is found to have significant deficiencies and therefore fails to comply with the Conditions of Participation, we are required to keep the hospital under State Agency monitoring until there is full compliance with all of the Medicare Conditions of Participation, ” the letter states in part.

The letter states that the Medicare provider agreement between Novant Health NHRMC and the Department of Health and Human Services is being terminated, effective August 12, 2022.

“The Medicare program will not make payment for inpatient hospital services furnished to patients who are admitted on or after August 12, 2022. For patients admitted prior to August 12, 2022, payment may continue to be made for a maximum of 30 days for inpatient hospital services furnished on or after August 12, 2022,” the letter advised.

The letter tells NHRMC that termination can only be averted by correcting these deficiencies by August 12. The hospital was also given a date of July 25 to notify CMS and the NC State Survey Agency in writing describing in detail the specific corrective measures taken to resolve these problems.

WWAY reached out to Novant NHRMC to find out more details on the deficiencies and whether they are now in compliance. Novant is holding a media availability this afternoon. We will update this story with those details as they become available.

This content was originally published here.