OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Kansas officials say the conditions at Osawatomie State Hospital have improved since it lost its Medicare certification last year and that its psychiatric facility is ready for a federal inspection.

The facility in Osawatomie lost certification in December after federal inspectors expressed concerns about safety after a patient was charged in the rape of a staff member in October, The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2bpAxdj ) reports.

Decertification has cost the state $8 million in federal aid so far. That amount will increase by about $1 million per month until the hospital is recertified.

Inspectors said the hospital had out-of-date facilities and was understaffed, which put workers and patients at risk.

A January 2015 inspection report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the hospital failed to provide 24-hour nursing service for a patient who died from a bacterial infection that caused intestinal blockage.

The facility has had several renovations, including the installation of new ceilings, which is meant to prevent suicide attempts. Facility officials said it now ensures patients receive 24-hour nursing care by now assigning each registered nurse to a group of no more than 15 patients. Previously, nurses could be responsible for up to 30 patients at a time.

Patients now must be checked on every 15 minutes and security officers are on site at all times. Medical doctors are also on call at all times.

The state has applied for recertification. Inspectors are set to review the facility on Aug. 30.

Acting Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Tim Keck says the agency is confident that the hospital is ready, but said that the staffing vacancy rate is still too high.

More than half of the full-time registered nurse positions were vacant at the beginning of August, and a moratorium on new patients continues to be in effect.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com