BRATTLEBORO, Vermont — The Brattleboro Retreat could lose its federal Medicare funding unless it can come up with a plan to correct a series of violations, most of which were in a new area of the hospital designed for patients who would have gone to the now-closed Vermont State Hospital, hospital officials said.
The violations were discovered during an April 18 inspection by officials from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
Senior Vice President Albert said the Retreat, which has been treating patients for 179 years, has been facing more challenges carrying for involuntarily committed patients who prior to the 2011 closure of the state hospital following Tropical Storm Irene would have been sent to the state hospital.
"In reviewing the data from the survey we recognize that the majority of the issues identified are related to this new state hospital unit," Albert said. We have been, and will continue to work on making the necessary improvements."
Since Tropical Storm Irene forced the Vermont State Hospital to close the Retreat has admitted 331 patients who would have qualified for admission to the state hospital.
Last year CMS cited the retreat for a series of other problems. In each case the Retreat offered a plan to correct the problem. The April 18 visit followed a Feb. 21 visit. During last month's visit it was determined the Retreat had not met its conditions of compliance in two areas.
Albert tells the Brattleboro Reformer (http://bit.ly/113WrH8) the Retreat has work to do, but he said state's entire mental health system was in crisis.
"We are confident that all cited deficiencies will be corrected as they have been in the past," he said. "The improvements we make as part of this process will help us continue our focus on excellence in our clinical practice at all levels of the organization, and assure our patients, and their families, that we are providing exceptional and compassionate care."
Information from: Brattleboro Reformer, http://www.reformer.com/