By Jim Misunas
Matt Heyn never knows when the inspectors from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will visit Pawnee Valley Community Hospital for its three-year accreditation.
The administrator for the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital was thankful he showed up before the inspectors when they visited after Thanksgiving.
“There is no advance warning given,” Heyn said. They just show up. You’ve got to always be ready for an inspection.”
The timing came during a time when Pawnee Valley is demolishing parts of the old structure. A new Pawnee Valley Hospital is being built for a price tag of $18.3 million.
The KDHE performs the extensive accreditation surveys on behalf of the U.S. Central Medicare Services department, which administers Medicare requirements for hospitals.
“There is a manual that the CMS system uses that goes through everything more that is 500-plus pages that we should be doing to be a successfully-run hospital. They can check on anything in that manual, whether it’s quality control or infection control. If they can one thing and see an issue, they’ll continue to investigate.”
The hospital generally doesn’t know how it’s doing until the exit interview is conducted. Pawnee Valley achieved a commendable achievement of one minor deficiency.
“It’s a phenomenal rating. Our hospital board was ecstatic,” Heyn said. “We work really hard every day. The staff and leadership, we have a goal to follow every rule possible. I ask every time we have a meeting for telling me our mission statement. We want to be the best hospital in rural America.
‘They conduct an exit interview and reveal their findings. It can be a quick exit interview. Our interview was very quick. They were very complimentary. We are probably in the top five percent of Kansas hospitals.”
Heyn said he’s thankful and appreciative to work at a facility with high retention and customer satisfaction.
“Our accolades from the survey were just amazing. It only helps us provide a higher quality of care for our Medicare beneficiaries. It was proof of how dedicated our staff are to fulfilling the mission of being the best hospital can offer in rural America.”
Heyn said the survey, conducted every three years, is essential to rural critical-access hospitals to maintain their designation and level of Medicare reimbursement.
“If we are going to take Medicare patients, the CMS requires a survey of accreditation every three years,” Heyn said. “We have an accreditation binder that we have to follow. We have to get all of our staff on board with following all the rules and regulations. The state comes in on behalf of the feds and reviews our program and makes sure that we are compliant with regulatory standards.”
As far for the next inspection, Heyn is confident that Pawnee Valley Community Hospital will showcase a new hospital after 2013.
“We’ll more than likely be in the new facility when they check on us again,” he said.