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Federal review clears UCMC, Stroger

Saturday, July 25, 2009
Chi-Town Daily News
by Alex Parker

A few months ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued notices to the University of Chicago Medical Center and Stroger Hospital, citing federal violations at each institution. But a CMS spokeswoman says both institutions are in the clear, and are no longer at risk of losing federal money.

UCMC had violated the federal EMTALA law, according to federal officials, by not attending to an elderly man in its waiting room. The man died four hours after his arrival on Feb. 3, going unnoticed by nurses.

CMS found Stroger Hospital’s laboratories labs to be non-compliant with federal standards in December, citing issues in bacteriology and high-complexity testing. It also cited problems with the laboratory director and with the labs' technical supervisor. A March re-inspection determined some of those problems had not been fixed, and found new issues with the laboratories.

Both institutions were required to conduct a thorough review of their practices, and submitted a plan of correction to CMS. CMS inspectors then dropped in unannounced to see if the hospitals were following their plans of correction.

CMS found UCMC was in compliance May 11, and Stroger was approved July 9, according to the CMS spokeswoman.

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