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December 28, 2017

Four Maine hospitals cited by Medicare for infection, injury rates

Four hospitals in Maine will be penalized by Medicare because of high rates of infection and injuries, including Lewiston's Central Maine Medical Center, which is on the list for the second year in a row.

Also on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services list are Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and York Hospital, which all are on the list for the first time. They are among 751 hospitals nationwide cited.

CMMC's accrediting agency also said earlier this month that the hospital was not doing enough in its policies and procedures to prevent infections. The agency gave the hospital 30 days to improve or risk its accreditation.

CMMC President David Tupponce Tuesday told the Lewiston Sun Journal that the hospital is working on the issues.

"We're not trying to hide the fact we still have opportunities to improve as an organization," he said. "We're striving toward zero harm to our patients and to our employees. That's really what we're striving for."

Medicare considered infections from surgeries and procedures, including hysterectomies, urinary tract catheters and blood lines, as well as 10 kinds of inpatient injuries and complications, including bed sores, blood clots and sepsis. The process began four years ago as a way to get hospitals to cut down on incidents that cost lives and money. Hospitals listed lose about 1% of their Medicare payments for the year, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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