The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued an Involuntary Termination of Medicare Provider Agreement effective today, Tuesday, April 12 for the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.

The termination letter stated,

‘In accordance with 42 CFR §489.53(a)(1),(3), CMS is terminating Montana State Hospital’s provider agreement based on the hospital’s failure to comply with Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (the Medicare statute) and to maintain compliance with the Conditions of Participation (CoP). This involuntary termination is effective: April 12, 2022.

CMS surveyors conducted a complaint survey at Montana State Hospital on February 8-10, 2022. Based on the survey findings, CMS determined that Montana State Hospital was not in compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation for Hospitals. Specifically, CMS found that Montana State Hospital’s noncompliance with the CoPs governing Patients Rights and Infection Control placed patients at risk of serious injury, harm, impairment, or death.’

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The statement continued:

‘Termination of your participation in the Medicare program will also result in termination of your Medicaid agreement. Therefore, CMS is forwarding a copy of this letter to the Montana Department of Public Health and Health Service, Medicaid Division. CMS is also sending a copy of this letter to your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), Noridian Healthcare Solutions, LLC. Please contact your MAC to make arrangements for filing a final cost report.’

KGVO News reached out to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for a comment, and received this statement from DPHHS Director Adam Meier:

‘Despite today’s news, I want to be clear that our commitment to serving the patients at Montana State Hospital now and reforming the facility for future generations has never been stronger. The struggles at MSH have existed and remained unaddressed for far too long, spanning multiple governors. As I have said before, we must approach MSH comprehensively, strategically, and in a data-informed manner. There are no quick fixes for what MSH is currently facing.

The Gianforte Administration is working diligently to tackle the issues at MSH it inherited from previous administrations. We are actively working to rebuild MSH and our state’s behavioral health system; MSH patients and Montanans deserve nothing less.

DPHHS has retained experts to address the immediate issues at MSH raised by CMS. These efforts are ongoing and the department is making considerable progress. MSH will also benefit from the outside expertise obtained through an RFP to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all DPHHS-operated health care facilities and develop a strategic plan to enhance quality of care and improve operations.

It took many years for MSH to get to this point, and it’s going to take significant time to truly fix the problem. DPHHS continues to reevaluate Montana’s behavioral health system and ensure MSH is operating in a more productive, safe, efficient, and effective manner.’

KGVO will continue to monitor this situation and will provide more information when it becomes available.

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