Feds conduct surprise inspection at DMC hospital

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Health officials on Monday conducted an unannounced inspection at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan to determine if the facility has corrected problems with dirty surgical instruments cited in a failed inspection in late January.

The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed Monday that a surprise inspection was being conducted on the federal government’s behalf by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

LARA spokesman Jason Moon said such inspections typically take one to three days, “but that may be altered depending on the information gathered.” Four LARA inspectors were involved in Monday’s survey, he added.

DMC spokeswoman Melanie Moss confirmed CMS inspectors were on site, but had no further comment.

Inspections on Jan. 30-31 found Children’s Hospital in violation of numerous infection control and other standards, and CMS determined the facility was out-of-compliance with federal hospital certification requirements.

It was the third Detroit Medical Center hospital to fail a federal inspection in roughly six months. Harper University and Detroit Receiving hospitals failed inspections in early September, following a Detroit News investigation found that five DMC hospitals on health system’s Midtown campus had struggled for nearly a decade with dirty, broken and missing surgical instruments.

Harper and Receiving were determined to be in “substantial” compliance during the January inspection sweep that also included Children’s and Karmanos Cancer Center. Children’s and Karmanos failed those inspections, and were given until May 23 to pass unannounced follow-up surveys or risk losing their federal Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Karmanos is not part of of the DMC health system, but many of its patients are operated on at Harper. The cancer center passed a surprise follow-up inspection last week, and was declared back in compliance with federal certification standards.

In an interview Friday with the News, three ranking DMC officials said most of the problems cited in the January inspection had already been corrected.

The officials said the system had spent $1.2 million since September to correct problems with dirty surgical instruments, and multiple systems have been put in place to ensure the safety of patients.