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Mission Hospital? It’s in ‘immediate jeopardy’
Friday, 16 February 2024 21:08

Has until Feb. 24 to fix deficiencies in care, or risks losing Medicare and Medicaid funding

From Staff Reports

Mission Hospital, based in Asheville, has until Feb. 24 to fix deficiencies in care, a letter from U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services states, the website Asheville Watchdog reported on Feb. 5.

Meanwhile, “Mission Hospital confirmed on Feb. 7 that it had met the deadline to submit a plan to correct safety concerns identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported on Feb. 7.

Seeking an interview or statement for more details, the Daily Planet reached out on Feb. 9 to the Nancy Lindell, director of public and media relations at Mission’s Health. 

Shortly thereafter on Feb. 9, Lindell emailed the Daily Planet the following statement in response to the crisis that Mission Hospital is facing:

“As we stated last week, there are no excuses for our patients receiving anything other than exceptional care, and Mission Health has already taken action based on the preliminary findings shared in December. 

“We are pleased to hear from our EMS partners and patients that those actions are yielding positive results, including decreased wait times for care.

 “We respect the process of these surveys and have submitted our corrective action plan to CMS in accordance with their deadline. 

“Again, these findings are not the standard of care we expect, nor that our patients deserve, and we are working diligently to ensure Mission Hospital successfully serves the needs of the Western North Carolina community.

Meanwhile, Asheville Watchdog reported that details of exactly what caused “immediate jeopardy” to patients have yet to be made public.

CMS’ letter — dated Feb. 1 and addressed to Mission CEO Chad Patrick — “is the federal agency’s official notification to the HCA Healthcare-owned hospital, informing leadership that it is in immediate jeopardy, the most serious deficiency possible for a hospital,” the Asheville Watchdog noted.
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UNCA’s $6M debt, 25% enrollment drop could force huge staff cuts, chancellor says
Friday, 16 February 2024 21:05

From Staff Reports

Facing a $6 million deficit, UNC Asheville may be forced to “curtail” the use of adjunct faculty and look at the significant cutbacks across the “entire university enterprise,” the website Asheville Watchdog reported on Feb. 6.

In the aftermath, the Daily Planet reached out to the UNCA chancellor’s office for more details and comment on Feb. 9 — and Crissa Requate Sinkovic, director of university marketing, responded with the following detailed statement:

“I was forwarded your request for information about the budget deficit for UNC Asheville that was announced early this week. 

“At a meeting of faculty and staff held Tuesday, February 6, UNC Asheville Chancellor Kimberly van Noort offered an overview of the university’s current financial situation, which includes a $6 million deficit that must be addressed for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2024.

“Unless the budget is balanced, she added, the deficit is forecast to grow to $8 million for the 2025 fiscal year,” Sinkovic noted.

“A primary cause of the deficit is a five-year enrollment decline that resulted in a 25 percent overall decrease in the size of the student body. As enrollment revenues declined, expenses kept pace, and even increased in some instances.

“To address the deficit, Chancellor van Noort announced that the university will be moving into ‘immediate expense control measures.’ Budget & Finance staff are also ‘exploring tapping into any existing resources outside of our state funds, limited though they may be,’ she said.

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