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Feds probing complaint at Champaign County Nursing Home

CHAMPAIGN – An anonymous complaint brought federal investigators to the Champaign County Nursing Home late last week.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent investigators from a Medicare/Medicaid fraud unit to the nursing home on Friday, said Administrator Andrew Buffenbarger.


Carle earns accreditation from Society of Chest Pain Centers

URBANA – Carle Foundation Hospital has become one of 15 hospitals in the state to receive accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, an international nonprofit organization devoted to reducing heart fatalities.

Accredited chest-pain centers show they can reduce the time it takes for a potential heart-attack patient to see a doctor, according to John Snyder, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Carle.


Provena Covenant Medical Center stands pat on tax refund

URBANA – Provena Covenant Medical Center's attorney says the hospital will hang onto the $6.1 million property-tax refund it received from Champaign County earlier this year – at least for now.

The county is demanding the money back after the 4th District Appellate Court last month came down against the hospital and overturned a 2007 circuit court decision that had found Covenant tax-exempt.


Provena program offering skincare event Sept. 27

DANVILLE – Women Aware, an outreach program of Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation, will present "Skin as Soft as the Dewy Petals of a Flower" from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 27 in Conference Rooms 2 and 3 of the medical center, near the cafeteria, 812 N. Logan Ave.

Presentations include: Dr. Arvin Uppal on the different types of aesthetic enhancement available for face lifts; Carol Shriver, dietician, on how to eat properly for healthy skin; and Dr. Mary Gindi on the warning signs for freckles and moles that could turn cancerous.


Provena set to announce appeal of tax case to state's high court

URBANA – Provena Covenant Medical Center hopes to take its case for a charitable tax exemption all the way to Illinois' highest court, hospital board chairman Jon "Cody" Sokolski said.

He and other Provena officials were scheduled to announce later this afternoon that the hospital will file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court of last month's 4th District Appellate Court decision that came down against the hospital and sided with the Illinois Department of Revenue.


Judge allows antitrust suit against Carle, Christie to go to trial

URBANA – An antitrust lawsuit filed more than a year ago by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan accusing Carle Clinic and Christie Clinic of conspiring to fix state Medicaid prices will continue to trial.

Champaign County Judge Richard Klaus issued a written order Wednesday morning denying most of the clinics' motion to dismiss the lawsuit.


Medicare to stop paying for mistakes caused by hospitals

URBANA – Nobody goes to the hospital expecting to get sicker.

But mistakes can happen.

A patient falls out of bed and gets hurt. An infection can set in after surgery. Bedsores can worsen.

Currently, Medicare picks up the tab for the conditions patients acquire while they're in the hospital – things that could have been prevented, such as injuries from falls and surgery-site infections.

But starting Oct. 1, hospitals will have to absorb those extra costs. And they won't be allowed to bill the patients for them, either.

 


Prairie Center detox unit closed, reducing choices for addicts

 

URBANA – Jim Ellis is waiting for the full effect of cuts in state funding for social services to make their way to his emergency-room door.

But Ellis, the chairman of emergency medicine for Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana and Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, knows they're coming.

That's because the Prairie Center Health Systems was forced to close its detoxification unit at 122 W. Hill St. in downtown Champaign on Aug. 1. Last calendar year, the unit had 803 admissions – alcoholics and drug addicts who came there to sober up for an average of three to five days.


Small hospitals opting for new facility over renovation

The brand-new Kewanee Hospital opened May 31, and by one account, not a minute too soon.

This small hospital northwest of Peoria was functioning in a 1917 building that had undergone about 13 additions over the last 80 years.


Kirby Hospital taking steps to serve Monticello long into future

MONTICELLO – Not long ago, folks in Galena would bypass their own little hospital and travel to Dubuque, Iowa, for their medical care.

And with no surgery and no MRI in town, many of them had to.

"Now we're seeing that reversed," said Galena's Midwest Medical Center CEO Jeff Hill. "They're staying here for their care, for a lot of good reasons."