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St. Cloud Hospital considered in 'immediate jeopardy' after inspection


St. Cloud Hospital is on "immediate jeopardy" status after a review from the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

KNSI reports the Minnesota Department of Health went to the hospital on behalf of the HHS following the fatal shooting of Aitkin County investigator Steven Sandberg.

Sandberg was fatally shot Oct. 18 while watching over a suspect. The suspect got out of his hospital bed and started an altercation with Sandberg, in which he gained control of Sandberg’s weapon and shot him, the BCA says.

According to KNSI, the department went over the hospital's policies and procedures, some of which were related to the shooting.

A hospital spokesperson said the issues found weren't "directly" tied to the shooting, KSTP reports. The hospital is doing a review, and considering changes to how it coordinates with law enforcement regarding potentially violent patients.

So what does immediate jeopardy mean?

It's determined by the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers those programs (and some others) throughout the country. Basically, they're in charge of keeping the U.S. healthcare industry modern and effective, and provide oversight for nationwide programs. (You can watch a video that explains some of this here.)

If a hospital is considered in "immediate jeopardy," it means there's a situation in which a hospital isn't complying with certain requirements, and because of that is "likely to cause serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident," according to the guidelines for determining "immediate jeopardy."

Only one patient needs to be considered put at risk, and an instance of harm doesn't have to occur before a hospital gets hit with the label. You can see a whole list of triggers here.

If this happens – like it did in St. Cloud – the hospital is at risk of losing its Medicare accreditation, and being subject to fines and little time to fix the issues, AHC Media says.

KNSI says St. Cloud Hospital has a Nov. 19 deadline to comply.

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