State: UPHS-Marquette in compliance with regs

DePETRO

MARQUETTE — After an unannounced visit from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in September, UP Health System-Marquette was found in compliance with Medicare Conditions of Participation, hospital management confirmed Monday night.

“In September, UPHS- Marquette was surveyed during an unannounced visit by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in response to claims made related to staffing and quality at the hospital. Late last week, we received the official findings of that survey and we are very pleased to report that the surveying authorities found zero deficiencies at our hospital,” said Victor Harrington, regional director of marketing and business development of UPHS, in an emailed statement.

In August UPHS-Marquette nurses filed a report with the state that documented hundreds of unsafe patient concerns due to improper staffing levels.

The nurses called on the state to investigate the matter and the nurses’ bargaining team authorized a two-day strike, which occurred earlier this month, with staffing ratios the impetus.

According to the Michigan Nurses Association, the report included 111 cases of one or more IVs running dry, medicines being given late, 12 reports of one or more patient falls and 259 reports of one or more nurses going without breaks, lunches or being mandated to work 16-hour shifts.

HARRINGTON

“The Michigan Nurses Association has yet to receive any official notification regarding a state investigation of nurses’ complaints at UPHS Marquette,” Stephanie DePetro, operating room nurse and chief grievance officer of UPHS-Marquette Registered Nurse Council, said in a statement issued by the MNA.

In a letter from the DHHS, Michael Potjeau, a principal program representative, stated that the hospital will “continue to be deemed to meet applicable Medicare requirements based upon accreditation by the Joint Commission.”

According to Harrington, the DHHS interviewed “numerous nurses and other staff” during the survey process.

“Numerous nurses and other staff were interviewed during the survey process, and scores of records were examined and analyzed. Receiving zero deficiencies from this team of highly experienced nurse surveyors is outstanding and a strong endorsement of the quality care being delivered daily at UPHS-Marquette. We know these results would not be possible without the hard work, dedication and tireless compassion of our employees, physicians and volunteers,” Harrington said.

Even though the DHHS interviewed numerous nurses, according to the MNA, nurses who filed reports of unsafe staffing levels were not contacted by state investigators.

“Marquette nurses will continue to advocate for the highest quality of patient care, because hospital safety is not a simple pass/fail endeavor. We have documented hundreds of patient safety concerns, and at this time, we are not convinced that the state has adequately looked into those issues,” DePetro said.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.