SF's Laguna Honda Hospital loses Medicare, Medicaid funding amid compliance issues

Surveyors identified new issues with hand hygiene, infection prevention and control as well as two missed doses of a medication
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is at risk for being shut down. This after federal official terminated funding to the hospital Thursday due to new issues around hygiene and infection prevention and control.

San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is a licensed skilled nursing facility that serves approximately 700 patients with complex medical needs, many who are low income. Now the hospital is at risk for being shut down after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services terminated Laguna Honda's participation in the healthcare safety net program.

Mayor London Breed said the hospital will continue to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments over the next 30 days but can't take on any new patients and expect reimbursement.

The announcement was triggered by a requirement that the facility resolve all deficiencies by the end of a six-month time period.

That period began in October when state surveyors outlined and documented deficiencies related to preventing contraband, such as cigarette lighters and drug paraphernalia, on campus.

"We have been well on our way to making things right to improving the conditions," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

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In the latest round of surveys this week, state surveyors identified new issues with hand hygiene, infection prevention and control as well as two missed doses of a medication.

"During the visit what was seen were a number of things that we know can be corrected," Breed continued.

San Francisco officials say because there wasn't enough time to address those deficiencies before the review period ended, the Medicare/Medicaid funding was terminated.

"While we are in a challenging situation now the most important thing is that Laguna Honda is not going anywhere. We will continue to be an excellent place to receive excellent care," said San Francisco health officer Dr. Grant Colfax.

Hospital officials have already begun the recertification process.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi said her office is working closely with Mayor Breed and the Biden Administration to ensure the hospital can come into full compliance.

Writing in a statement in part, "It is unfathomable that Laguna Honda could lose the vital federal funding it needs to support life-saving programs for some of our most vulnerable San Franciscans..."

"We look forward to recertifying with Medicare and in the meantime we will continue demonstrating our unwavering commitment to patient safety," said Laguna Honda Hospital CEO Michael Phillips.

He says part of that safety will include changes to the way visitors enter the hospital.

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