Federal officials said yesterday that they will conduct another survey of the record keeping of the Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville, Md., the state's second-largest mental hospital, to determine whether its Medicare certification -- and its Medicare funding -- should be renewed.
"It will be an unannounced survey before the end of August," said Dillard Mills, a branch chief of the Health Care Financing Administration, the federal agency that monitors hospitals for compliance with Medicare rules.
If the hospital is not in compliance with Medicare rules, based on corrections made in record keeping since the last audit, it could lose an estimated $2.4 million in annual Medicare funds, officials said.
The Medicare certification for Spring Grove was terminated Thursday because the hospital failed to maintain the required records for dispensing drugs and for therapy for individual patients, Mills said. However, the funds for Medicare patients admitted to the hospital before Thursday will be continued for 30 days, he said.
Spring Grove admits patients from Prince George's, Harford and Baltimore counties, according to hospital superintendent Dennis Kutzer. He said that about 100 patients in the hospital's 490-bed facility receive Medicare benefits.
Kutzer said that the hospital has proposed a plan to correct the deficiencies cited in the March federal audit and that some corrections have been made, such as the installation of a computer so that staff pharmacists can do a better job of scanning medications prescribed for individual patients.
Health agency officials said Spring Grove's failure to comply with Medicare record keeping rules does not jeopardize patients.