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DMC Harper Hospital could lose millions by April 15

Emergency room hospital

Federal officials confirm a Detroit hospital could lose millions of dollars if it fails to fix problems by April 15.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could cut off money for the Detroit Medical Center’s Harper University Hospital.

Officials say the hospital has problems with patient safety compliance.

Documents from a Dec. 13, 2018 inspection list several violations, including failure to accurately record time of death for three patients, "resulting in the potential for the inability to recover tissue and/or organs for use in transplant."

The inspection also noted violations for failure to follow some operating room policies – like an anesthesiologist not tying their surgical mask, and two patients with missing post-operative reports. Inspectors found some missing fire alarms, fire sprinklers that were obstructed or missing, and portable fire extinguishers that needed inspection. An extension cord was run through a ceiling tile in one room "in place of permanent wiring."

Allan Baumgarten is a private healthcare analyst. He says in 2017, federal programs provided 85% of the hospital’s inpatient revenue.

"If the sanctions were imposed and they lost access to Medicare payments, and possibly Medicaid payments as well, it would be a significant blow to their revenues and to the ongoing operations of the hospital," Baumgarten said.

The DMC has not responded to a request for comment.

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