GALESBURG, Ill. — Galesburg Cottage Hospital will now accept Medicare and Medicaid payments through Jan. 14.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, extending the previous deadline of Dec. 27.
According to a CMS notice, Medicare will no longer make payments for inpatient hospital services for patients admitted after Jan. 14. Patients admitted on that date or earlier may continue using Medicare payments for up to 30 calendar days after that date.
At this time, neither CMS nor Cottage have specified why the extension was put in place.
The news comes after CMS investigators determined the hospital had violated four conditions of the Medicare program, stating Cottage had fallen out of compliance when it comes to patient rights, nursing services, physical environment and governing body.
A CMS spokesperson told News 8 the hospital underwent four surveys between Nov. 19, 2021 and Dec. 27, 2021 and concluded with 'serious findings.' CMS also revealed the facility has been in 'immediate jeopardy' since the first survey on Nov. 19.
"The termination was the result of Galesburg Cottage Hospital's failure to meet Medicare's basic health and safety requirements as outlined in Medicare's Conditions of Participation," said the CMS spokesperson in an email to News 8.
CMS alleges the services being provided at Cottage pose immediate risks of serious injury, impairment or death.
Galesburg Cottage Hospital did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The news of the extension comes amid growing concerns over the future of the facility.
A report from Illinois' Health Facilities & Services Review Board found 59% of Galesburg Cottage Hospital's inpatient revenue for 2020 came from Medicare, totaling $8.57 million. Medicaid accounted for another 14%, bringing in $2.03 million. That information was collected from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020.
On Wednesday, Dec. 29, multiple sources reported to News 8 that the hospital had terminated its entire anesthesiology department. This information has not been confirmed or denied by hospital officials.
It also follows a series of layoffs at the hospital and its surrounding clinics this fall, as reported by the Galesburg Register-Mail.
News of the payment termination arrived almost exactly 18 months after the hospital officially transferred owners. On June 25, 2020, it was confirmed that Quorum Health Corporation had sold the facility to SBJ Group Inc., out of Austin, Texas.
Alongside OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg Cottage Hospital serves the greater Galesburg and Knox County region. According to its website, the facility has 133 beds and provides the area with inpatient, outpatient and emergency care.
In contrast, OSF St. Mary has 81 licensed beds. The same Health Facilities & Services Review Board found Medicare accounted for 37.4% of inpatient revenue at OSF, bringing in $13.64 million. Medicaid made up another 16.6% of that revenue, at $6.05 million. The timeline for those figures was from Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.
OSF Media Relations Coordinator, Colleen Reynolds, sent a statement to News 8, when asked about the hospital's preparedness for Cottage's Medicare and Medicaid patients. It reads:
"We are concerned about our health care colleagues at Cottage Hospital, and about the patients/families impacted by today's announcement. OSF St. Mary Medical Center and its excellent, compassionate providers are ready, as always, to meet the current and future health and wellness needs of Galesburg and communities in the region that we’ve been called to serve."
As of Dec. 29, OSF had 335 patients hospitalized, with 59 in the ICU and 36 on ventilators.