An Open Letter to Our Patients

There has been much reported in the news recently concerning a notice that was issued to Greenville Memorial Hospital by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

First, I want to reassure our patients that we are taking the appropriate actions to correct any deficiencies cited by CMS and do not anticipate any disruption in services to our Medicare and Medicaid patients. You absolutely can continue to receive care at Greenville Memorial Hospital. Patient care has not and will not stop.

Second, I want to clarify that the CMS notice applies to both Medicare and Medicaid patients.

And third, I want to clarify that the CMS notice is specific to Greenville Memorial Hospital. It does not affect any of our other hospitals (e.g., Greer, Hillcrest, Laurens, North Greenville, Patewood, Oconee or Baptist Easley) nor does it affect any of our primary care physician practices or outpatient services outside of Greenville Memorial.

While the CMS notice appeared in the newspaper on March 28, 2017, our discussion with CMS has been ongoing since early March when we first notified the federal agency and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control that we had identified several opportunities for improvement in our emergency department. While I cannot share the details of our internal assessment or CMS’ site survey because of patient privacy laws, I can tell you that the focus of the assessment and site survey is around improving processes for patient care in the emergency department at Greenville Memorial.

We have been working diligently on an action plan, and I am proud to say that nearly all action plan items have been initiated as of March 29, 2017. We feel confident that CMS will find the plan – and its implementation – satisfactory before the April 16, 2017 deadline. Again, we do not anticipate any interruptions in patient care during this time period.

We take these issues very seriously and respect CMS’ judgment. Whether we have internal processes for improvement or have an opportunity presented to us by regulatory agencies, we welcome any opportunity to be better. And we will be better, because that’s who we are at Greenville Health System.

Our mission is to heal compassionately, teach innovatively and improve constantly. We are proud of our public mission and the care we provide our community. GHS is absolutely committed to continuing to deliver high quality care to every patient, and we welcome the opportunity to serve you and your family for years to come.

Sincerely,
Scott Sasser, MD
Chair of Emergency Medicine

This post was first published on March 29, 2017, and was updated on March 31, 2017. 

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  1. […] According to a public notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agreement between CMS and GHS to provide care to medicare/medicaid patients at Greenville Memorial will be terminated, effective April 16. Wait what? There is no immediate threat of patients having to be transferred from GHS. Scott M. Sasser, MD,chair of emergency medicine at GHS, says they do not “anticipate any interruption of Medicare and Medicaid services.” Whew. (Read an open letter to patients here.) […]