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ESEC Surgery Center correcting CMS violations after losing Medicare payments — 6 insights

CMS halted its payments to Oklahoma City-based ESEC Surgery Center Aug. 18, but the center is working diligently to correct two deficiencies, NewsOk reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. CMS notified ESEC Surgery Center in early August about the deficiencies. CMS took issue with the center's electrical system and the way the center had its sterilization devices setup, NewsOk reported.

2. The center's sterilizers were in hallways where they could be contaminated, and the center's electrical system was allegedly arranged in a way that would not provide enough back-up power in the event of a power outage.

3. ESEC moved its sanitizers to a different area and is in the process of redoing the center's electrical work, Elisse Seals, regional vice president of operations at Southlake, Texas-based Solara Surgical Partners, told NewsOk.

4. Once the work is done, an Oklahoma State Department of Health inspector will examine the surgery center, and CMS will decide whether to restart payments.

5. The state first inspected the facility in 2005, finding no faults, Ms. Seals said. She said the state granted the facility a waiver to prevent it from having to make any changes. Tony Sellars, a state health department representative said, "A former General Counsel for OSDH waived some state requirements, however any such waiver would not waive federal requirements. We are working with the facility to assist them in coming into compliance."

6. The state health department reportedly granted several extensions to the deadline for compliance while CMS considered the surgery center's waiver request. CMS denied the waiver request in August, and a federal court didn't prevent CMS from stopping payments to ESEC while it fixed the electrical issue.

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