Alaska Native Medical Center has received a notice of “removal of deemed status” by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which found deficiencies that need to be corrected. Those deficiencies were not revealed to the public.
CMS can temporarily remove a health center’s “deemed status” after an inspection, if there are noncompliance or substantial other problems identified.
On Thursday, Valerie Davidson, president and CEO of ANTHC; April Kyle, president of South Central Foundation; and Alan Vierling, ANMC administrator, sent a letter advising their partners and stakeholders of the problem, which pertains to both the ANMC and Southcentral Foundation. The consortium will be submitting a plan of corrective action.
The way the rules work is that ANMC can remain under the jurisdiction of the state until it “either demonstrates substantial compliance or CMS terminates its Medicare participation.” It can then get its “deemed status” restored.
“While a provider or supplier is under SA [state] jurisdiction, the AO [Accrediting Organization] has no jurisdiction or authority from a Medicare perspective,” CMS explains.
A hospital that loses its Medicare deemed status may continue to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients and may also receive federal funding in all previous payment modalities. But without a corrective plan that has been accepted by regulators, its ability to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements may be quite limited.
Alaska Native Medical Center serves 158,000 Alaska Natives and other Native Americans in Alaska and is a referral hospital for the Alaska Region of the Indian Health Service.