CMS probe finds New Mexico hospital violated patient rights with ‘informal’ COVID-19 testing policy

CMS launched its investigation after New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica reported June 13 that the hospital was targeting Native American moms for COVID-19 screening based on tribal-area ZIP codes and separating them from their babies till test results appeared.

A CMS investigation discovered Lovelace Womens Hospital in Albuquerque profiled pregnant Native American ladies for COVID-19 testing and separated them from their newborns without appropriate consent till test results came back, according to New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica.

Medical facility authorities submitted a plan to resolve the problems recognized by CMS, including internal audits to guarantee compliance with state and federal policies and COVID-19 screening guidance, New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica report. CMS has actually referred its findings to HHS Office for Civil Rights.

Lovelace officials informed CMS the practice was stopped May 28. They have actually defended their actions, keeping in mind test shortages and conflicting advice throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Detectives concluded that the health centers “informal policy to target clients that survive on Native American reservations for COVID screening” stopped working to protect patients rights, which Lovelace did not supply clear choices for the profiled clients to request or refuse COVID-19 screening and separation from their babies. The examination also found the ZIP code screening procedure remained in place at Lovelaces emergency department in addition to its labor and delivery and perinatal care systems.

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