Inspectors arrived Tuesday at Osawatomie State Hospital to determine whether the state-run psychiatric facility can regain its federal certification and, with it, its Medicare funding.
Osawatomie State Hospital lost its certification in December 2015 after a patient attacked a staff member, prompting an investigation that revealed staffing shortages and other issues that put patients and staff at risk.
Without certification, the psychiatric hospital isn’t eligible for federal Medicare payments for patients. The state is only seeking to recertify a 60-bed unit that has been renovated to address patient safety concerns that federal inspectors raised in 2015.
Inspectors from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also assessed the hospital in May but declined to recertify it then, citing new concerns about sanitation, food preparation and infection control.
If the inspection this week determines that administrators have fixed those problems and doesn’t find any new ones, Osawatomie State Hospital could regain its federal certification.
The inspection will take three or four days, according to Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck.
Osawatomie State Hospital is one of the state’s two hospitals for mental health patients deemed a danger to themselves or others. The other is at Larned.
Editor's note: A previous of this story misstated the source of federal funding Osawatomie lost with decertification. The hospital lost payments from Medicare.
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.