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Hospital Faces Loss of Medicare Funds Over Sexual Assault

LOUISVILLE, Ky.

A report by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services stating that University Hospital failed to protect patients from abuse has led Medicare to threaten to cut off payments to the hospital.

The report was sparked by a March 10 incident in which a female patient, who was admitted to the emergency room, was sexually assaulted by another patient, reports the Courier Journal. Due to her health state, the victim was ordered to be kept in bed and in restraints to prevent her from falling.

Because she was placed on security hold, she was required to wear an electronic bracelet and have a security officer check on her every 15 minutes. However, the cabinet report said neither of those things happened.

Several hours after being admitted, another patient, who was also supposed to be wearing an electronic bracelet, but wasn’t wearing it, was found in the victim’s room performing what appeared to be oral sex, according to the news report. The gender of the other patient, who was on security hold because of suicide threats, confusion and other factors, was not identified.

Hospital officials did not say why the electronic bracelets were not put on the two patients.

A spokesman for the hospital said the monitoring of high-risk patients has improved since the incident. Hospital officials hope the changes will persuade federal officials to cancel the funding cutoff.

For additional information, click here.

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