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Emporia situation shows reach of state hospital crisis

Newman Regional Health
Newman Regional Health

It’s a relief that Newman Regional Health in Emporia has averted the loss of Medicare funding, according to the Kansas Health Institute News Service. “The issues surrounding the assessment, discharge and transfer of patients with mental health conditions have been successfully resolved,” Newman CEO Robert Wright said in a Tuesday news release. The resolution followed a March report that federal officials might end Medicare payments to the hospital stemming from a mental health patient’s discharge in September – a case that the facility’s officials linked to the shortage of inpatient beds for mentally ill individuals. The Emporia situation shows how the short staffing and capacity issues at the state’s psychiatric hospitals are affecting providers and communities around the state. Osawatomie State Hospital has lost its Medicare funding over safety concerns, and Larned State Hospital is moving mental health correctional inmates to other facilities to address hospital staffing gaps. – Rhonda Holman

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