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Inspectors OK changes at St. Cloud Hospital; 'immediate jeopardy' status lifted

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St. Cloud Hospital is no longer in immediate jeopardy of being dropped from the Medicare program.

WJON reports the hospital's president, Craig Broman, said in a statement Friday that investigators have approved actions taken in response to the "immediate jeopardy" status announced earlier in the week.

Procedures at St. Cloud Hospital have been scrutinized since an Oct. 18 incident in which an Aitkin County sheriff's deputy was fatally shot by a patient who got ahold of his gun in an altercation.

In order to treat patients enrolled in the federal government's Medicare program, hospitals must stay in the good graces of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Inspectors with the Minnesota Department of Health reviewed St. Cloud Hospital's policies and procedures on behalf of the federal government and found noncompliance that led to the "immediate jeopardy" status.

According to the St. Cloud Times, Broman said the action steps taken by the hospital were focused on a single aspect of one of their policies and procedures. Broman said all who provide direct patient care are being educated to ensure their understanding and compliance, the Times reports.

No specifics about the noncompliance or action steps were released, although the Times says the president of CentraCare, which owns St. Cloud Hospital, wrote in a letter to governing bodies that some changes "in our interface with law enforcement" were made.

The hospital faced a Nov. 19 deadline to make changes that would allow it to continue serving Medicare patients. While the "immediate jeopardy" label has now been lifted, the Times says the hospital's status is now "condition-level noncompliance."

The city's website lists St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare Health Systems as the city's largest employer, with 6,685 jobs.

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