YAKIMA, Wash. -- During a recent inspection, Yakima Memorial Hospital's Garden Village was cited because one of its beds had a six inch gap between the bed and the railing.
As a punishment, the state Department of Social and Health Services suspended the facility's ablility to bill Medicare or Medicaid when they admit new patients for one month.
Administrators are appealing the suspension. In the meantime, Garden Village will pay for new patients out of their own pocket. They estimate it could cost them $100,000.
Administrators say the punishment is too severe because the patient involved had no voluntary or involuntary movement and was not at risk of becoming trapped.
"These rails have been in use and observed by surveyors in prior surveys", says Garden Village Administrator, Doug Bault. "That was another reason why it was a bit of a shock to us".
Since the inspection, Garden Village has replaced the railings on all 95 of its beds.
A ruling on their appeal is expected in about a month.