Houston heart transplant hospital could lose Medicaid funds


A Houston hospital that suspended its renowned heart transplant program for two weeks amid scrutiny following the deaths of two patients could lose federal Medicaid funding.

The Houston Chronicle reports Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center was notified Friday that Medicare plans to halt funding to its heart transplant program in mid-August.

Federal officials say the hospital has not done enough to fix shortcomings that endanger patients.

St. Luke’s says in a statement that it looks forward to discussing concerns with agency officials and believes it’s eligible to take further corrective steps.

St. Luke’s temporary suspension of its heart transplant program came after joint reports by the Chronicle and ProPublica. The hospital restarted the program June 15. Experts say termination of Medicaid funding could threaten the hospital’s viability.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com



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