Alaska Native Medical Center gets ‘deemed status’ removed by federal accrediting agency

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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.

27 COMMENTS

  1. This can be for any number of reasons. They may disapprove of Administrative leadership to maintenance issues. Hope the leadership responds immediately and completely. This type of thing has happened and is happening in the lower 48 as well. The health care industry is somewhat in shambles in the US post covid. The covid policies displaced underlying basic health care requirements to be accredited structures. It became all about the money, masks and not letting the public in.

  2. Having accredited status is a major effort for all hospitals and there are many checks that can happen at any time. A new facility I’m familiar with out-of-state built during covid has doors that do not accommodate width of hospital beds a major design blunder interfering with evacuation and egress requirements. Architectural design problem overlooked in covidian flurries among other things like improper note taking to federal standards etc and ignoring federal laws requiring making complete medical records available to all patients among other safety infrastructure detailed items.

      • GIVE the land back to the Indians right now. NO? Ever buy property? First you make a deal; then wampum; then title. The United States skipped a few steps. That was uncivil. The US wants to run the land. THey want to take it for free. They don’t want to give it back. So they said we will give all your indigenous medical care instead. SO that”s the dill. It wasn’t philanthropy. It was Christianity and sacred honor. Some people think Christianity and sacred honor are extraneous and they get a leg up because of their pink nose. Pass it on.

        • Calm down, you aren’t getting anything back. You got your billion dollar “8A” corporations because your reps voted to do that instead of reservations. Now you’re crying it didn’t work out so well

          • The health care in perpetuity is for all tribes for the taking of the entirety of the US. The corporation settlement was to settle the bona-fide claim ownership of all of Alaska as written and stated in the deed, Treaty of Session , to 3/4 of the state of Alaska signed by Russia and the USA. Natives did not have to do the dill. They did the Alaska Land Claims to accommodate the resource extraction benefiting the USA to quickly build the pipeline. The natives were not obliged to divest themselves their property to benefit you, Alaska. It’s like that.

        • Here’s what I think is going to happen. First, I think that the Alaska Natives got played by the government. They believed the government when the government said it was going to provide them with healthcare during the trade-off. The Alaska Natives as a group stupidly voted in the government’s choices of “leaders.” The healthcare system has been slowly changing and has been providing less for the natives unless they are willing to pay out of pocket. I believe that the government is soon going to give the natives a big middle finger because they used them, now they are done with them and want to disappear them and take all of the land in Alaska, including that which the natives are living on.

  3. The quality of health care at the hospital is poor. They seem more interested in building parking garages, hotels and focusing on liberal social issues. The management (south central) has destroyed the faith in the hospital.

  4. This is a big deal, something that every hospital always prepares for.
    It is similar to the JCAHO (Joint Commission Accreditation of Hospital Organizations) annual approval in the hospital industry.
    Without this approval, typically Medicare & Medicaid will not approve status & therefore not pay out, if out of compliance.

    • joint Commission is ajoke. They wrote up my prior employer for loose screws on a door frame strike plate as a “safety violation” but nothing about under starting that violated state laws at the time their inspectors are petty tyrants who try to play”gotcha”. Showing up on night shift outside of their allowed hours. Randomly pulling charts from the rack and refusing to identity themselves. I had to call security on them for that one I was about ready to lay hands on her as an intruder

  5. Yet another demonstration of the steel trap excellence of Bill Walker political appointees. Thanks, Bill. Thanks, Valerie. Cheers –

    • This system has been in place long before Valerie Davidson was President. We will thank Valerie if she can help fix it

    • The State of Alaska has nothing to do with the governance of ANMC, not to mention that Walker was not governor when the tribal health consortium was created.

      • I have seen the current governor in scrubs three years ago. A more affable, genuinely helpful guy doesn’t exist. ANS often hosts “tours” by many uni-partnerships. You never know who you’ll see “up there” looking in.

      • Have you read recent enactments written by state of Alaska lobbyists ascribed to legislators giving a nurse the authority to pop into a private medical practice anytime during “open” hours and ask to review “any and all” records, files, archives, storage, equipment, audit triage, intake, appointments in real time, review note taking practices, security plans, toilets for cleanliness, inspect office staff work areas and prepare insulting, defamatory reports. This makes it difficult to desire to deliver healthcare in Alaska because the doctor’s license is actually on the line for all of this anyway and the doctors are often unusually intelligent individuals and don’t often appreciate or need strange nurses deciding on the level of care of the patients who are experiencing and receiving notated healing within these practices and groups or commanding the doctor which native female they want to be denied employment. Oh yes that happens. Six large agency men imposing to throw their weight around. Doctors enjoy professional continuing professional training in documenting for billings anyway. Professional societies are doing this too for the public. You probably have not read these state laws since you probably now work for a federal “agent” /agency now. Thanks for sticking your nose in again.

  6. Indian Health Service is the WORSE example a government could had done to any group of people. I found that out after becoming a mother. It made me so mentally and intellectually dependent on others to do everything for me. I really wish they could just shut it all down. That really would be best thing for todays Native gen-z kids like mine. If I could make any wish come true it would be shut down IHS and Medicaid. People like me we need to grow up knowing the cost of things including our health care. It’ll grown up us to learn more accountability and responsibility to maintaining employment to think about the cost of our futures from health care, life insurance, and if retirement is feasible for one, and rent or food costs. If ANTHC and SCF executives through its operative years REALLY cared about their beneficiaries, by this year every one of us would and should be on private coverage and employed or our spouse is employed to cover his whole family. There is No tribal sovereignty in Medicaid and Indian Health Service. Remember that- you can’t have both to have your sovereignty and collect government assistance.

    • The Indian Health Service only provides funding to the tribal health consortium and SCF, it has nothing to do with ANMC operations and governance.

      • Oh the corporate veils. They’ve taken the veil for moments somewhat like this. Subterfuge.

    • When heads roll for this type of fiasco it’s the heads of underlings. The real people at the top who are responsible will just be promoted to an even higher lever of incompetence.

  7. ANMC/SCF has been wrongfully firing employees for whistleblowing for decades. The top (CEOs) on down has been complicit in the area of covering up the practices of fraudulently certifying equipment for patient use, covering up and dismissing patient injury and death related to such known faults in equipment, and falsifying/covering up reports of deficiency made by employees and ex-employees, all in the name of $$$. At hand is a constant exercise of discrimination and exploitation that likely is the result of the authority figure aware to great degree of indigenous culture of compliance and silence.

    • You know that 2 top SCF executives were fired after reporting by a whistleblower, right?

  8. Where’s the cheer leader Lisa? Shouldn’t ANS be winning another cabal award again? Photo op time…

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