CMS Says It Will Terminate Funding for Houston Hospital’s Recently Reopened Heart Transplant Program

June 27, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has informed a Houston medical center that it will cut off funding to its heart transplant program in August, according to a June 22, 2018, article in ProPublica. The heart transplant program had recently reopened after a two-week shutdown to investigate several patient deaths (see HRC Alerts, June 20, 2018: Houston Hospital Reopens Heart Transplant Program after Two-Week Suspension). The hospital said it had not found any systemic issues related to the quality of the heart transplant program, but intended to make several improvements. CMS said in a letter that the steps the hospital planned to take were unsatisfactory. "There was no documentation of program oversight to ensure that any improvements were implemented and sustained," CMS said. An expert quoted by ProPublica said that the hospital "could have dealt with this better" by more fully acknowledging its problems and keeping the program inactive longer while setting fixes in place.

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