Federal health care officials inspecting hospital

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Federal health care regulatory agency officials began an inspection Monday of Plains Regional Medical Center, according to PRMC spokesperson Tayloria Grant.

Nine officials from Centers for Medicaid and Medicare will take part in the inspection, which was spurred by a complaint substantiated earlier this year by the New Mexico Department of Health.

“We have opened up our entire hospital (to CMS),” Grant said on Tuesday afternoon.

The areas and methods of inspection are determined by CMS, Grant said.

“We are just looking forward to going through this process (of inspection), so we can ensure the better health (for our patients),” Grant said.

The inspection was unannounced, according to Grant. How long CMS officials will remain at PRMC is uncertain, said Grant, who expects the officials to remain at the hospital until the end of the week.

CMS inspections typically last two to three days, according to Centers for Medicaid and Medicare spokesperson Tony Salters.

If CMS officials find the hospital is out of compliance with their standards, the hospital would be asked to submit a plan of action to the agency addressing the area(s) of concern, CMS officials previously told the Clovis News Journal.

Plains Regional Medical Center Board Chairwoman Gayla Brumfield said she was unaware of any specific areas under examination by CMS officials.

“If they do find anything (amiss), then we will address it immediately,” Brumfield said.

Former administrator of the Plains Regional Medical Center, Brian Bentley, resigned from the position shortly after the New Mexico Department of Health inspected the hospital in February. He and hospital officials declined on numerous occasions to give a reason for his resignation.

Hoyt Skabelund, 37, of Soccoro was hired as the new hospital administrator last week. He will begin his new role in late June.

PRMC, which is owned by Presybterian Healthcare Services, serves more than 110,000 people living within a 100-mile radius of the city of Clovis, according to its Web site.

Hospital and Presybterian officials have declined comment on specifics of the complaint.