The first stop for sick people in Haywood County should still be their local doctor.

Over-worked and underpaid. It’s a complaint most in America could wage against their boss. But at Haywood Regional Medical Center, it was just the tip of workplace complaints.

By Julia Merchant

With its CEO gone and a new consulting group on board, Haywood Regional Medical Center is working around the clock to regain its Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Anyone following the saga of Haywood Regional Medical Center has to feel like their head is spinning. So much has happened so fast that keeping it all straight is likely proving difficult, even for those with the most nimble minds.

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Donning purple ribbons of support, members of the community came together Monday in a show of encouragement for the embattled Haywood Regional Medical Center, which is facing a financial crisis after losing its Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The healing power of forgiveness is at the top of the list of things in which I believe strongly. It’s the best drug on earth, doing more good for more people than anything a doctor ever learned in medical school.

The future of Haywood Regional Medical Center could be in jeopardy following the termination of the hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid status due to violations uncovered by health care inspectors.

Doctors and officials at Haywood Regional Medical Center are accusing state inspectors of being heavy-handed, draconian, unprecedented, dangerous and unfair by pulling the hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid status.

Timeline of a crisis

June 9, 2006

Haywood Regional Medical Center receives a visit from the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Medicaid and Medicare Services, the state agency responsible for overseeing hospital compliance with standard of care requirements. Inspectors cite the hospital for its lack of adequate and qualified nursing staff after determining there was a failure to provide nursing treatment pursuant to doctors’ orders for six out of seven patients reviewed. Two of six nurses held out-of-date RN licenses, according to inspectors. In two cases, nurses restrained a patient without physician’s orders — one an unconscious victim of alcohol poisoning.

WestCare’s Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva will be filling a major void in the region’s health care in the wake of to the Medicare and Medicaid crisis at Haywood Regional Medical Center.

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