During a brief board meeting to approve medical staff applications for the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center on St. Croix, board chair Aracelis B. Walcott announced she received notification Thursday night that the hospital’s second plan of correction had been accepted by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to retain certification by the federal agency.
“Thank you,” Walcott said to JFL’s management. “We are on the road again,”.
In November, CMS notified JFL the hospital was out of compliance and risked losing reimbursement for services to Medicare and Medicaid patients. The cited deficiencies included soiled air vents, mold, wet ceiling tiles, leaking air conditioners and other problems affecting the “environment of care.”
The V.I. Legislature and Gov. Kenneth Mapp approved funding for the $6 million repair bill. Repairs have already begun and will continue, according to the plan of correction as funding is allocated until the deficiencies have been corrected.
Walcott said she called the meeting because there were “urgent matters to accomplish” and that was board approval for eight physicians and one physician’s assistant to begin or continue work at the hospital.
The board then voted unanimously to accept new physicians Scott Cohen, Bhavim Desai and Joseph Ha to the medical staff for one year and renewed appointments for two years for Drs. Byron Biscoe, Ramesh Lakhram, Renee Georges, Oscar Bailon, O. Anne Treasure and P.A. Jason Snow.
Before the board voted on the medical staff appointments and a lease agreement for equipment, Walcott introduced Dr. Nelda Coombs-Ephraim as the newly elected representative to the board by the hospital’s registered nurses, bringing the board membership to seven.
During the meeting, board secretary Philip Arcidi commended the hospital’s pharmacy for being recognized in a national publication for the Med-to-Bed program started last May.
According to Erica Parson, public information officer, the hospital pharmacy does not sell medications to the public. Under the Med-to-Bed program, they call a local pharmacy who delivers prescriptions to the patient’s bedside before they are discharged.
Not only is the initiative a convenience for patients but it also improves the chances the patient will take the medication. Additionally the pharmacy provides proper instruction on use and can answer patients’ questions. Proper use of medication can reduce readmission, according to the article in the Quality Improvement Organizations online publication.