Pennsylvania Health Department: Temple University Hospital Fails to Meet Federal Requirements for Transplants

Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia has been cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which published a report stating the hospital's lung, kidney, heart and liver transplant programs failed to meet Medicare regulations, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer news report.

According to the department's report, which covers all transplant data occurring between July 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2009, Temple's lung and kidney transplant programs demonstrated lower-than-expected outcomes. While the expected number of lung transplant deaths was 14, there were actually 36 deaths. Similarly, while 15 graft failures were expected, 37 graft failures actually occurred at the hospital. Expected projections for outcomes come from a federally funded database, the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

In regards to the hospital's kidney program, approximately three graft failures were expected. However, seven kidney graft failures actually occurred, according to the state report.

The state report also cited Temple's heart transplant program for performing too few transplants. CMS requires transplant programs to perform at least 10 transplants for each type of graft per year. However, the hospital reportedly performed an average of five heart transplants each year, according to the news report. In a separate and "less serious violation," Temple's liver transplant program had not adequately informed patients of their status on a waiting list of transplants.

CMS officials said the hospital has seven months to respond, during which time the transplant programs can continue to operate. Temple University has not yet released plans for corrective action, though the hospital announced it would be voluntarily shutting down its lung transplant program due to loss of its lead lung transplant surgeon.

Read the news report about Medicare violations at Temple University Hospital.

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