A five-person survey team arrived on St. Croix on Monday morning to begin an inspection that could determine whether the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital is able to keep its doors open, the hospital reported.
The hospital has had more than a year to get ready for the inspection by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS. In September 2014, CMS announced it was decertifying JFL from participating in the two federal health programs, which would mean a significant revenue cut for the financially beleaguered hospital.
The loss of millions of dollars in revenue threatened the potential collapse of the hospital, which was already unable to pay taxes, pension payments, utility bills or many of its vendors.
The hospital won a reprieve after hospital administrators made an 11th-hour plea, presenting a system improvement plan to resolve the long list of issues. In October 2014, CMS said it would inspect the hospital in late summer, but in August extended the deadline.
The CMS team is expected to be at JFL for the entire week. The inspectors will look at the hospital’s improvements and the efforts JFL’s team has put into the system improvement agreement to achieve and sustain compliance.
At the October JFL board meeting, then-Chief Executive Officer Kendall Griffith said the hospital was ready.
"The hospital is well on track with implementing the initiatives of the (systems improvement agreement) sustainability projects and monitoring compliance with these improvement actions,” Griffith said.
Griffith stepped down as CEO at the hospital’s November board meeting, saying he wanted to concentrate on his private practice.