PA Dept. of Health Expands Hospital Admissions Ban

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health is expanding a ban preventing a Schuylkill County hospital from admitting patients.

Last week, the health department banned new patient admission at St. Catherine Medical Center in Fountain Springs, near Ashland. Now the ban includes emergency and out-patient procedures performed at the hospital, officials said Friday.

The Department of Health completed an investigation into the hospital’s compliance with state license and federal Medicare and Medicaid regulations and found serious violations which posed a significant threat to the health and safety of patients at the facility.

Health department officials said the hospital is not able to get the proper equipment and supplies to perform surgical, out-patient and emergency services.

The ban does not include St. Catherine Medical Center’s long-term care facility, which currently houses about 30 patients. The health department has asked the facility to accept a temporary manager as a precautionary measure due to financial ties to the hospital.

In response to the health department’s announcement, hospital officials said it is a sad day for employees and the community.

There is no word yet what the expanded ban means for employees.