A Kansas psychiatric hospital that lost its federal certification in 2015 — causing the state to lose $1 million a month in federal funding — passed an initial inspection this week, a first step toward getting recertified.
Osawatomie State Hospital completed a successful inspection on Tuesday, said the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. That’s the same day the agency rolled out a proposal to privatize the hospital.
“We have been waiting for this for a long time,” Tim Keck, secretary of the department, said in a statement Wednesday. “This inspection was the result of years and months of hard work by staff and leadership.
“I am so proud of what our staff has accomplished. We’re at third base, now we have to get to home.”
Before the hospital regains its certification, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will conduct a follow-up survey to validate that improvements have been maintained.
Inspectors stripped the hospital of the certification in December 2015 after a survey found problems with patient safety. The hospital again failed a survey in May, but this time inspectors cited food service and kitchen problems.
As the hospital has struggled, the Department for Aging and Disability Services has sought the option to privatize the hospital. Only one company, Correct Care Recovery Solutions, offered a proposal by the deadline set by the agency.
The company would build and run a new hospital on the existing grounds. Current employees would be retained if they meet minimum criteria.
The department estimated the price tag for the new hospital could range from $100 million to $170 million. The company has not yet made a formal bid.
The Legislature must sign off on privatization before the department can move forward.