December 6, 2010

Lawrence & Memorial’s Medicare Status in Question

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The state has cited Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London for a number of deficiencies that jeopardize its compliance with Medicare requirements.

In an Oct. 19 letter, the state Department of Public Heath warned the hospital that it needs to take corrective action to ensure continued participation in the Medicare program. The hospital has submitted a detailed plan of correction to address the deficiencies.

Among the problems cited by the state were improper use of restraints; environmental hazards that posed a threat to the safety of psychiatric patients; and a failure to ensure the privacy of patients in the emergency department. One case cited by the state involved the treatment of a young child – under 9 years of age – who was admitted to the emergency department for emotional disturbance. The child was placed in two-point and four-point restraints on multiple occasions for as long as 8 hours at a time. Restraints are limited to under one hour for children under 9 years old, the report says.

The hospital also was cited for failing to ensure that care plans developed for patients were adequate and proper.

The hospital, in its plan of correction, says it is addressing all of the issues outlined in the state’s findings , including reviewing and monitoring the use of restraints and seclusion.

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