Suicide Could Cost Ky. Hospital Medicare Money

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Medicare has threatened to withhold payments to a Louisville hospital following a patient's suicide by hanging last month.

The agency told Baptist Hospital East that it has until Dec. 14 to correct problems found by state inspectors who determined the "hospital failed to assure this patient's safety."

Hospital officials told The Courier-Journal said it has a plan to correct the problems and doesn't expect its funding for inpatient-care to be suspended.

The patient, a 56-year-old Jeffersontown man, had been making suicidal statements and asked for a psychiatric evaluation, according to a report on the death.

Instead he was sent to a medical-surgical unit for alcohol detoxification. On Nov. 16 he was found hanging from a shower-curtain rod in his hospital room.
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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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