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Inland Valley Medical Center Finally Passes State Inspection

It took two survey inspections before Southwest Healthcare was found in compliance by the regulators.

The beleaguered Southwest Healthcare System, which operates Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar and Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, has passed state regulators’ inspections, it was announced this weekend.

But the process was not without complications: It took two survey inspections before Southwest Healthcare was found in compliance by the regulators.

Beginning July 25 and ending Aug. 2, the California Department of Public Heath, under federal authority, conducted a full validation survey of Southwest Healthcare System. The inspection was preceded by a flurry of problems dating back to 2007 that ultimately led to a finding by state investigators that Southwest Healthcare System was putting patient health in jeopardy. As a result, state officials threatened to pull the healthcare provider’s Medicare/Medicaid funding and revoke its license to operate both hospitals.

Either move would have toppled Southwest Healthcare, so by fall 2010 the provider appeared to be getting back on track: A new CEO was in place, its license had been reinstated, and a temporary agreement had been reached on funding.

But inspections were still pending, and the check that ended Aug. 2 brought some bad news. The state health department’s survey team found “two areas out of compliance with the conditions of participation as a Medicare participant. Those areas were Pharmacy and Nursing Services,” according to CDPH spokeswoman Anita Gore in an email to Patch.

(Click here to download the state’s August 2011 findings.)

The findings were enough for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to strip Southwest Healthcare’s Medicare certification, Gore said.

Instead, state officials postponed the termination and put hospital officials on notice that they would be back within 90 days for another inspection, Gore said.

On Nov. 1, state officials revisited Southwest Healthcare’s hospitals to conduct a second survey.

“CDPH did not identify any deficiencies during their survey and provided CMS with their findings,” Gore said.

Finally, on Nov. 4, an approval letter was sent by the state to Southwest Healthcare.

“CMS stated in a letter to Southwest that they intend not to proceed with the hospitals’ Medicare termination action,” Gore stated.

The news was welcome by Southwest Healthcare Systems CEO Ken Rivers. On Nov. 5, he released the following statement (in full):

Southwest Healthcare System has passed the CMS Certification Survey recently concluded pursuant to the System Improvement Agreement which Southwest had entered into with CMS and CDPH last year.  As a result, the termination notice which had previously been sent by CMS has been rescinded and Southwest has been restored to our deemed status.  This outcome was the result of the dedication, devotion and hard work of the employees, medical staff, volunteers and leadership at Southwest.  We are also very appreciative of the cooperation and collaboration of the dedicated professionals at CMS and CDPH.  Their willingness to work with Southwest during this process was a major factor in our success and we are pleased that their confidence in Southwest was validated.  We appreciate the tremendous support we received from our local officials during this difficult period and wish to express our gratitude. 

This result is not the end but the beginning.  The employees and medical staff at Southwest Healthcare have always been fully committed to ensuring that the highest quality healthcare is being provided to our patients and this community.  We will not rest on our accomplishments to date but remain steadfast in our commitment to maintain and enhance the quality of care we provide which our patients expect, their families demand and that this community deserves.  Southwest looks forward to our continued role as the leader of healthcare services for Southwest Riverside County.

Diana November 08, 2011 at 05:15 PM
I would not take my dog to the Inland Valley Medical group (Hemet Hospital) 8 years ago my Mom fell victim to this facility. First a vascular surgeon Dr. Zabetian started the process with faulty bypass surgery and it went downhill from that with my Mom left with a bed sore in a dirty diaper all night because to0 lazy nurses did not attend to her. Bottom line serious infection and death. A dirty hospital with nurses from a nursing pool to cover the night shift, complaints received no justification. This Hospital should of been brought to their knees and investigated years ago.
Ken Mayes November 08, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Medical care in the U.S. is nothing to really be proud of today but if you are going to blast someone get your facts together. The story is about Southwest Healthcare which has nothing to do with Hemet, the medical group or the doctor mentioned.
Karen November 08, 2011 at 07:30 PM
Like we say, 'C's get degrees too. Scary but true and where do you think those C students will be able to find work? At a C hospital.
Brad November 09, 2011 at 03:08 AM
If AMR ever picks you up and your conscious always AMA (Against Medical Advice: Demand to go to another facility instead of the nearest -- yes you have the right to do that) to County of Riverside in Moreno Valley. Not only will your bill be cheaper but you'll get superior care. The County Hospital is a learning facility, and I think that's important. I was pumped full of morphine at Inland Valley then kicked out of their ER high on narcotics, which I didn't even ask for! I asked if they would let me stay a few more hours until the buses started running at 0430 am but they said No you have to leave right now! They weren't even busy, and I was even in a hallway bed. I had to walk high on morphine to the Starbucks in a nearby plaza that opened open early and you anybody who knows Clinton Keith, there are no sidewalks for quite a ways between the "hospital" and the shopping plaza. If I had gotten hit by a car I could see potential liability issues for Southwest Healthcare System.
Megan Batson November 09, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Ken totally agree with, Hemet don't follow into the catagory of Inland or Rancho, I had my son at Rancho Springs and I would not change it I would have another kid there to, they attended to me every second I never had a problem with them, and I had to take my son to Inland because he was sick with a bad cough and they took him in right a way and they attended to him every seconds and took care of his needs. And Brad they can't make you leave a hospital if you are high on morphine and you have a right to say you don't want it before they gave it to you it's not like they held you down and said your taking it!!! Maybe you were to high on morphine and you did not know what you were doing and just wanted to leave the hospital you were so high how do you remember??? If you don't like there facility and don't know what you are talking about then don't go there drive further out to a hospital that you like then
Brad December 01, 2011 at 05:41 AM
Megan, you sound extremely disconnected form reality. That's to be understood since you sound like a family who has obviously worked their way up to into paradise Lake Elsinore from Quail Valley or "beyond". Inland Valley Hospital is private property and they can tell you to leave if they want to, however as many would agree, they make bad decisions more often then not. I wouldn't expect somebody of your obvious naive immaturity to fully comprehend private property laws. Besides sucking from your husbands tit, sitting on the computer all day, getting pregnant, completing some eCollege courses, "liking" dog treat warnings & Mac make-up on Facebook all day, and finally making yourself sound like a jackass here on Patch.com ... what have you done with yourself? I never said I didn't need the morphine or that they had forced it on me, I said they kicked me out HIGH ON MORPHINE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Don't even respond, we all know you sound like a naive idiot. I won't allow your ignorance to occupy anymore time in my head anyways. k. thx. bye.

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