St Cloud, MN (WJON News) - An inspection by the Minnesota Department of Health last week led to St. Cloud Hospital being placed on Immediate Jeopardy status.

The inspection was done following the October 18th shooting death of Aitkin County Deputy Steven Sandberg by a patient he was monitoring as a suspect for domestic violence. Following the review, the Department of Health reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), who then placed the hospital on Immediate Jeopardy status.

Jeanine Nistler, Director of Communications for CentraCare Health, says the review and subsequent placement of the status were a result of the shooting, but not “directly tied” together.

“What [CMS] is looking for is for us to work on some policies and procedures,” Nistler says. “But they have not in any way indicated a problem with how we the incident that day — in fact, they’ve been complimentary of the way our staff reacted.”

According to the CMS State Operations Manual, the Immediate Jeopardy status is defined as “a situation in which the provider’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of participation has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident.”

Nistler has been with CentraCare in St. Cloud for almost 20 years and says she’s never seen the hospital be placed on Immediate Jeopardy. But she says that while the status sounds ominous, they are confident they will meet every requirement.

“It’s not unusual for a U.S. hospital to be placed on Immediate Jeopardy, it happens periodically,” Nistler says. “The good news is that the vast majority of hospitals are able to have that status removed and do not suffer the loss of medicare and medicaid coverage.”
“St. Cloud Hospital is very confident we can make the requirements, and we are working very hard right now to make sure that happens.”

The deadline for St. Cloud Hospital to meet the requirements is November 19th and Nistler says the CMS has accepted their action plan.

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