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Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital hits key milestone

Margie Manning



Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is emerging from one of the toughest periods in its history.

The hospital has fully met all the conditions of participation in a systems improvement agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ,and remains in good standing to serve pediatric patients.

The 259-bed pediatric hospital in St. Petersburg, one of the pillars of the local medical community and a major employer in the area, came under scrutiny following a series of reports that documented high death rates in its pediatric cardiology program.

Since then, the hospital has rebuilt its Heart Institute, implementing training programs and data analysis of patient safety measures, a statement said.

Statement from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

“Since learning about the series of tragic incidents involving our Heart Institute, we have remained committed to improving our efforts around patient safety. In June 2019, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital entered into a Systems Improvement Agreement (SIA) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The purpose of this agreement was to identify gaps and implement sustainable systemic changes to ensure the hospital meets all CMS Conditions of Participation. After a year-long process, we are pleased to share that CMS completed their review and found that we fully met the Conditions of Participation and remain in good standing to serve pediatric patients.

“As part of our journey to rebuilding our Heart Institute, we worked with an external group of national pediatric heart experts and conducted a top-to-bottom clinical evaluation of our program. Over the course of the last year, the Heart Institute has implemented the recommended changes, which include industry-leading training programs and rigorous data analysis of patient safety measures. We conducted a national search for new heart surgeons and hired a team of exceptionally talented surgeons, each of whom brings a career of success in highly specialized pediatric or neonatal cardiothoracic surgery to the Tampa Bay region.

“Across the organization, we have implemented new processes and protocols to make our hospital safer for the families we serve, while continuing to strive for excellence in patient care. To that end, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has been honored once again by U.S. News & World Report on their annual best children’s hospitals list. This year the hospital ranked in eight specialty areas, more than it has ranked for in a single year. Johns Hopkins All Children’s was the only children’s hospital on Florida’s West Coast to make the list. Our work does not stop here. We are dedicated to ensuring Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital remains a safe place for the families of this community and beyond.”

Last year, Johns Hopkins All Children’s brought on Dr. James Quintessenza, a cardiothoracic surgeon who worked for 26 years at the facility, as co-director of the Heart Institute. The hospital also has hired heart surgeons who specialize in pediatric or neonatal cardiothoracic surgery.

CMS completed a full federal re-certification survey and a life safety code survey at the hospital on June 19, 2020 and on July 23, 2020, respectively, according to a year-end report from its parent company, The Johns Hopkins Health System Corp.

“By letter dated August 14, 2020, CMS notified JHACH that it is in substantial compliance with all applicable Medicare Conditions of Participation, that JHACH has fulfilled the requirements of the SIA [systems improvement agreement] and that JHACH’s deemed status was restored effective July 23, 2020,” the annual report said. Deemed status indicates a hospital has met or exceeded Medicare and Medicaid requirements.

In June, U.S. News & World Report ranked Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital among the nation’s best children’s hospitals in eight specialties. That’s more than any other pediatric hospital in Florida, and more than Johns Hopkins All Children’s has ever ranked for in a single year.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s financials also are doing better, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hospital had $149.4 million in total operating revenue and $13.1 million in operating income for the three months ended June 30, compared to an operating loss of $11.7 million on operating revenue of $119.1 million in the same period a year earlier, the annual report showed. The total surplus for the just-ended quarter, including investment and other non-operating income, was $65 million, compared to a total deficit of $3.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

For the full fiscal year ended June 30, the hospital posted $531.4 million in total operating revenue, compared to $499.1 million a year earlier.  The hospital had a $3.2 million operating loss for the just-ended fiscal year, compared to a $17.6 million operating loss in the prior fiscal year. The hospital ended its fiscal year with a total deficit of $10.3 million, compared to a $15 million deficit in the prior year.

“As with other healthcare facilities across the country, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our hospital, but we remained focused on caring for families during the pandemic. While many appointments, surgeries and procedures were postponed in the spring due to Covid-19, we have been working diligently over the past few months to care for these children and keep up with their health care needs.

“We received some funding through the CARES Act to help cover costs associated with providing care during the pandemic. Though the CARES funding has provided some relief, we have incurred a significant impact on our expenses and revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the hospital said.

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